Broken English (Broken Lives, #1) Broken English discussion


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A Male Lolita?

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message 1: by Marita (last edited Jul 03, 2016 05:39PM) (new)

Marita Hansen Someone, who has recently read the ARC for Broken English, has described Dante as a male Lolita. I suppose in a way he could be related to her, though he could also be compared to Mena from American Beauty, since he's such a provocative character.

BROKEN ENGLISH is the tale of a young English teacher who falls in lust with one of her students - Dante Rata. It's a transgressive story, because Dante is not only a student, but is also fifteen years old. The story is told from both his viewpoint and Clara Hatton's (his teacher), giving two very different ways of seeing the world.

Clara Hatton is a twenty-four-year-old middle-class woman, who is excited about starting her first full-time job as an English teacher. She is married, but her husband is still in England, so she is alone in New Zealand, starting a new job in a rough South side neighbourhood.

Dante Rata is a fifteen-year-old drug-dealer, and one of the most troublesome students at Wera High. He has a shocking past, which has shaped who he is. He lives alone with his father (a patched gang member), who he helps support, since his father has a tendency to skip work.

There is also a good sized cast of supporting characters, who show just how multicultural New Zealand is, with people who are Maori, Scottish, English, Croatian, and just plain Kiwi (New Zealand). And as the title says, some of them speak in a broken form of English. I play with language in this book, from the dialect used by the different characters to the actual discussions in and out of the English class, where words are misconstrued. There is also some poetry in the book, three pieces of writing, since Dante is an urban / rap poet.

If you wish to know more about BROKEN ENGLISH don't hesitate in asking me questions. It's due out August the 2nd on Amazon.


message 2: by Marita (last edited Jul 17, 2016 04:27PM) (new)

Marita Hansen A male version of American Beauty? Very different stories, but I do mention in one scene how the female teacher relates Dante to Menna's character from American Beauty. Both Dante and Menna are provocative characters. I'll be interested in what you think when the book comes out.


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