Book Excerpt: Markus Zusak's New Novel 'Bridge of Clay' Is A Tale Of Brotherly Ties

Bridge of Clay
Book Excerpt 

Once, in the tide of Dunbar past, there was a many-named woman, and what a woman she was. First, the name she was born with: Penelope Lesciuszko. Then the one christened at her piano: the Mistake Maker.

In transit they called her the Birthday Girl.

Her self-proclaimed nickname was the Broken-Nosed Bride. And last, the name she died with: Penny Dunbar. Quite fittingly, she’d travelled from a place that was best described by a phrase in the books she was raised on.
She came from a watery wilderness.

Many years ago, and like so many before her, she arrived with a suitcase and a scrunched-up stare. She was astounded by the mauling light here. This city. It was so hot and wide, and white.

The sun was some sort of barbarian, a Viking in the sky. It plundered, it pillaged. It got its hands on everything, from the tallest stick . . .