Sep 7, 2022 · 12:17 pm
Today’s the day! The Proxy Bride has arrived and is in book shops! Kind of incredible to be holding it in my hands. For many decades the term, ‘proxy bride’ has been whispered, rarely spoken of, let alone written about – a long-hidden part of our history. It’s unlikely we’ll see Italian-Australian proxy marriages again and I wanted to write about them because these women especially were remarkably brave and their stories deserve more than a whisper.
It was actually Nonno Anni who set me to writing this book. When I was talking to him about his life for, Joe’s Fruit Shop and Milk Bar, by chance he mentioned that during WW2 in Australia when he and other Italians got sent to internment camps, the wives and children suddenly left alone on the farms did it very tough and almost starved. But a group of them banded together, he told me, and kept their farms going. That struck and I knew I’d return one day to write about it.
When I learned some of these women were proxy brides, it opened up even more to the story. Of course, this is just one part of, The Proxy Bride. There’s much more including some laughs, cooking, music inspired by Nanna Francesca’s 1950s stereogram, secrets and quite a few Italian brands and traditions you may recognise! I hope you enjoy reading it.❤️🍝🎶 Zoë x
Available today in paperback and ebook in book shops, department stores and online. (Will let you know when there is audio book news.) Thanks to all those at HQ Fiction and HarperCollins who helped bring this about and to you for your lovely ongoing support for all my books. So very much appreciated! Zoë xx
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Tagged as australian novels, book launch Zoe Boccabella, books with recipes, brisbane author, Brisbane book launch, Brisbane books, Brisbane history, brisbane stories, hidden australia, hidden history, Italian Australians, Italian family life, Italian migrant stories, Italian migrant women, Italian proxy brides, Italian-Australian, Italians in Australia, migrant life, migrant stories, new australian fiction, new fiction, new fiction books, proxy brides, proxy weddings, Stanthorpe history, The Proxy Bride, the proxy bride book, The Proxy Bride Zoe Boccabella, unknown history, women’s history italian migrants, women’s stories, Zoe Boccabella
May 10, 2022 · 12:40 pm
Four months until, The Proxy Bride is out and the book cover has landed at my desk. It’s always interesting to see what the publisher creates for a cover and even though this is book three, each time it still feels astonishing to see my name on the front!
For this book it’s been an honour to write about a part of our hidden history – the courageous women who married by proxy and travelled to the other side of the world to husbands they’d mostly never met. And also of the Italian wives left behind on farms in Australia after their husbands were interned during WW2 and how these women banded together to survive against tough odds and much hostility towards them at the time.
Not least, it’s also about Nonnas and granddaughters in the 1980s when those stories and secrets from the past began to emerge and cultures clashed along with old Italian traditions and Australian life. Of course, while it’s a novel, so much of this book is inspired by true happenings, family stories and even a bit of my own experience as a teenager in the ’80s. Looking forward to sharing it with you! Zoë xx