Thursday, February 18, 2016

Captivating new fiction voice from established travel writer

My Father’s Ears
By Karen Goa
Published by GoaNotesNZ and distributed by Nationwide Book Distributors
PB $24.99


Long-lost sons. Orphan trains. Trapeze artists. Italian POW camps.

When an Italian-Canadian immigrant's harsh but intriguing past catches up with him, his sceptical daughter Sophie rattles family skeletons in her quest to discover the truth about her father, his affair with a Romanian trapeze artist and a mysterious New Zealander claiming to be his son.

This twisting tale of secrets and social dilemmas is set against a remarkable and moving history of Italian immigration. Peopled with unforgettably quirky characters, Sophie’s family is beguiling yet yearningly familiar.

My Father’s Ears is the compelling debut novel by travel and fiction writer Karen Goa. Funny, compassionate and good-hearted, yet punctuated with heartbreak, this ironic, sharply entertaining story of love, lies, and very hairy ears captivates to its astonishing end.


Canadian-born and -raised, Karen Goa swapped a hospital pharmacist’s white coat in flat and frozen Saskatchewan for a writing and editing career in New Zealand. With her eye for the absurd balanced against compassion for society’s fringe-dwellers, she has penned numerous blackly comedic yet empathetic short stories for broadcast on Radio New Zealand National.

Karen is also an award-winning travel writer, with travel articles and photographs published in many New Zealand print outlets. She has authored two entertaining travel books, the motorcycling cult classic Bitten by the Bullet: Motorcycle Adventures in India (co-authored with tour guide Steve Krzystyniak), and One Flat Coyote on the Centre Line: Cruising Canada in a classic Chevy (Highly Commended in the Whitcoulls Travcom Travel Book of the Year awards). Both were published by New Holland and adapted for broadcast by RNZ National, who have already secured the rights to adapt My Father’s Ears.

Karen lives in Auckland with her boat builder husband. Her flying trapeze career was short and shambolic.

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