THE WRITER'S ROOM
'Taken individually any one of these thoughtful conversations has the capacity to draw the reader into a zone of sympathy and appreciation, even if she has not read the published works of the interviewee. Collectively the conversations constitute a valuable resource for writers, teachers and general readers intrigued by the psychology and craft of making fiction.'
- Robyn Walton, The Australian
For more on The Writer's Room click here.
NEWS & EVENTS
PRIME MINISTER'S LITERARY AWARDS
The Natural Way of Things is joint winner of the 2016 Prime Minister's Literary Award for Fiction in Australia.
Judge's comments: 'Both a powerfully evocative allegory and a shockingly realist narrative—a remarkable feat in a literary culture that no longer easily accepts the blurring of genres ... Though the novel is bleak and might lead the reader to despair, the stylistic elegance that Wood brings allows us a glimpse of a future that might just allow for hope.'
BEST AUSTRALIAN STORIES 2016
Charlotte is the editor of this year's Best Australian Stories collection, published by Black Inc. Read her editor's introduction here.
INTERNATIONAL DUBLIN LITERARY AWARD
The Natural Way of Things is among 147 novels on the longlist for the 2017 award.
THE VOSS PRIZE
The Natural Way of Things has been shortlisted for the 2016 Voss Literary Prize.
CHARLES PERKINS CENTRE WRITER IN RESIDENCE
Charlotte has been named the inaugural Charles Perkins Centre writer-in-residence at the University of Sydney. This groundbreaking collaboration, made possible by the extraordinary generosity of Judy Harris and the CPC, brings together science, health and literature - more details here. A Sydney Morning Herald article on the fellowship is here.
THE 2016 STELLA PRIZE
The Natural Way of Things won the 2016 Stella Prize, announced on Tuesday 19 April at the Sydney Opera House. Read about the prize and what it means for writers here. Charlotte's acceptance speech is here.
THE INDIE BOOK OF THE YEAR
The Natural Way of Things won the 2016 Indie Book of the Year Award and the award for fiction, chosen by Australian Independent Booksellers. Read Charlotte's tribute to our indie bookstores and what they mean for Australian writers and readers here.
The Natural Way of Things won the Reader's Choice award in the category of literary fiction for the Australian Book Industry Awards.
GEORGIA BLAIN: The Sydney Morning Herald
Charlotte's portrait of the writer Georgia Blain and her new novels.
FILM RIGHTS: The Natural Way of Things feature film rights have been acquired by independent producers Katia Nizic & Emma Dockery. More details at the film website here, http://thenaturalwayofthingsfilm.com
PORTRAIT: The Saturday Paper
Charlotte's portrait of theatre director Anne-Louise Sarks.
PORTRAIT: The Saturday Paper
Charlotte's portrait of the abstract painter Ann Thomson.
THE NATURAL WAY OF THINGS
'The Natural Way of Things Is a Prescient Feminist Horror Novel You Need to Read ... The girls of Wood’s novel are in no dystopia. Instead, they are imprisoned by present policing of their bodies, the corrosive discrimination of political and economic systems that turns women’s bodies against them, rebuilding them as flesh and blood prisons.'
- Stassa Edwards, Jezebel.com
'Beautiful and savage – think Atwood in the outback.'
—Paula Hawkins, author of The Girl on the Train, in The Guardian
'One of those unforgettable reading experiences.'
—Liane Moriarity, author of Truly Madly Guilty, in The New York Times
'A ferocious new novel by the Australian Charlotte Wood whose writing recalls the early Elena Ferrante — it's tough, direct, and makes no attempt to be ingratiating ... what keeps all this from seeming doctrinaire is the book's sheer imaginative intensity. Wood's writing crackles with vivid precision ... Yolanda and Verla strip away the historical veneer of female subservience. They recreate themselves based on a deeper, more complicated vision of the natural order, one that grasps the bond between all living beings. I'd like to tell you that this is a happy ending, but Wood is too honest to offer anything so reassuringly easy. Even as her heroines begin a radical new way of living, Wood knows that the natural way of things is as risky and wild as it is free.'
- John Powers, NPR Fresh Air
'A haunting parable of contemporary misogyny ... The Handmaid’s Tale for our age of sensational media and reality television. Like Margaret Atwood’s dark vision of religious dictatorship, it is a preview of what could happen to women who rock the boat, resisting predation or asserting their own sexual freedom ... Like the surreal prison itself, Ms Wood’s writing is direct and spare, yet capable of bursting with unexpected beauty ... The sly and devastating ending makes the point: Ladies, you have been warned.'
- The Economist
'Wood takes apart the mentality of patriarchy not with a scalpel, but an axe. However, the axe cuts deep ... The Natural Way of Things is chillingly dark and unfashionably didactic. But it’s also compulsively readable, and bears its load of significance with effortless power. The fury of contemporary feminism may have found its masterpiece of horror.'
- The Guardian
'The latest from Australian novelist Wood is allegory at its best, a phantasmagoric portrait of modern culture's sexual politics textured by psychological realism and sparing lyricism.'
- Publisher's Weekly
'At once brutal and beautiful ... Surreal yet intensely vivid, the novel is disturbing and enthralling ... An absorbing plot, lyrical prose, and discomfiting imagery makes Wood's novel decidedly gripping.'
- Kirkus Reviews
'What sets Wood’s The Natural Way of Things apart, what makes it a truly urgent read is that it is not an allegory and it is not a dystopian novel: it is a reality. As such, The Natural Way of Things, a work that takes the reality of misogyny and toxic cultural notions about women’s sexuality and very bluntly bulldozes those ideas, is exactly what we should be reading right now.'
- Full Stop magazine
'With echoes of Kafka and The Lord of the Flies ... Wood's raw and complex story delves into themes of friendship as two of the imprisoned form a strong yet unconventional bond through their survival efforts. It also depicts the tyranny of misogyny with the same coarse grit and degradation that scours women around the globe, while simultaneously spotlighting their courage and fortitude. Uncomfortably bold, The Natural Way of Things is an everywoman's hero tale.'
- Shelf Awareness (starred review)
'The Natural Way of Things is a virtuoso performance, plotted deftly through a minefield of potential traps, weighted with allegory yet swift and sure in its narrative advance. As an idea for a novel, it’s rich, and to achieve that idea the writer has been courageous. Her control of this story is masterful.'
- Rosemary Sorensen, The Sydney Review of Books
'It’s like digesting a living creature, one with claws still intact ... if Wood is concerned with investigating and condemning masculine violence, both in its overt manifestations and those encoded in the structure of contemporary culture, she is too much of an artist to reduce her critique to a simple binary ... the final effect is stunning.'
- AF, The Saturday Paper
'This is an extraordinary novel: inspired, powerful, at once coherent and dreamlike ... The Natural Way of Things recalls all the reading you've ever done on the subjects of capture, isolation, incarceration, totalitarianism, misogyny, and the abuse of power. It's thought-provoking in all directions.'
- Kerryn Goldsworthy, The Sydney Morning Herald / The Age
'I gobbled up Charlotte Wood’s The Natural Way of Things in one sitting – it’s incredible, very chilling ... The vibe is Margaret Atwood meets Wake in Fright. It’s a rollicking read and unashamedly political. It explores how power, the media and the judiciary fight back when they are attacked. How they work against women is laid bare. You won’t look at the world the same after reading this book.'
- Brigid Delaney, The Guardian
'Part of the triumph of The Natural Way of Things is how it makes this nightmarish scenario feel not just possible but plausible. In part, that is a function of the novel’s horrifyingly acute distillation of the ways in which contemporary society makes women culpable for the very systems that repress them ... It offers a confronting reminder of just how deeply inscribed the codes and structures that ensure women’s subjugation are – the degree to which they are, as the novel’s title would have it, the natural way of things.'
- James Bradley, The Monthly
'Riveting ... the kind of book you inhale in a sitting. It leaves you woozy and disoriented, surprised to find yourself in mundane surroundings rather than sweltering in the desert heat'
- The Saturday Paper
'It’s rare to pick up a novel and from the opening pages be not only gripped by the story on the page but also by the keenness of the intelligence and audacity of the imagination at work ... one hell of a novel by one of our most original and provocative writers.'
- Stephen Romei, The Weekend Australian
" Bold, provocative, startling and thoughtful, The Natural Way of Things is what fiction should be."
- Kylie Mason, The Newtown Review of Books