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Charlotte Wood - book author

The Australian newspaper has described Charlotte Wood as "one of our most original and provocative writers.”

She is the author of five novels and a book of non-fiction. Her latest novel, The Natural Way of Things, won the 2016 Indie Book of the Year and Indie Fiction Book of the Year prizes, was shortlisted for the Stella Prize and the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award, and longlisted for the Miles Franklin. It will be published in the UK and North America in 2016. Charlotte was also editor of the short story anthology Brothers and Sisters, and for three years edited The Writer's Room Interviews magazine. Her work has been shortlisted for various prizes including the Christina Stead, Kibble and Miles Franklin Awards. ​Two novels — The Children and The Natural Way of Things — have been optioned for feature films.

Photo: Wendy McDougall

Charlotte Wood is the author of books: The Natural Way of Things, The Weekend, Animal People, The Children, The Submerged Cathedral, Love and Hunger, Brothers And Sisters, Pieces Of A Girl, The Best Australian Stories 2016, Nanoparticles: Allen & Unwin Shorts

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Author Books

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01
Two women awaken from a drugged sleep to find themselves imprisoned in an abandoned property in the middle of a desert in a story of two friends, sisterly love and courage - a gripping, starkly imaginative exploration of contemporary misogyny and corporate control, and of what it means to hunt and be hunted.

Strangers to each other, they have no idea where they are or how they came to be there with eight other girls, forced to wear strange uniforms, their heads shaved, guarded by two inept yet vicious armed jailers and a 'nurse'. The girls all have something in common, but what is it? What crime has brought them here from the city? Who is the mysterious security company responsible for this desolate place with its brutal rules, its total isolation from the contemporary world? Doing hard labour under a sweltering sun, the prisoners soon learn what links them: in each girl's past is a sexual scandal with a powerful man. They pray for rescue - but when the food starts running out it becomes clear that the jailers have also become the jailed. The girls can only rescue themselves.
02
#1 International Bestseller
Shortlisted for the 2020 Australian Prime Minister's Literary Awar
d * Shortlisted for the Stella Prize 2020 * Longlisted for the 2020 Miles Franklin Award


"The Big Chill with a dash of Big Little Lies... Knife-sharp and deeply alive."--Guardian

"An insightful, poignant, and fiercely honest novel about female friendship and female aging."--Sigrid Nunez, National Book Award-winning author of The Friend

'Friendship, ambition, love, sexual politics and death: it's all here in one sharp, funny, heartbreaking and gorgeously-written package. I loved it' --Paula Hawkins, author of The Girl on the Train


Three women in their seventies reunite for one last, life-changing weekend
in the beach house of their late friend.

Four older women have a lifelong friendship of the best kind: loving, practical, frank, and steadfast. But when Sylvie dies, the ground shifts dangerously for the remaining three.

They are Jude, a once-famous restaurateur; Wendy, an acclaimed public intellectual; and Adele, a renowned actress now mostly out of work. Struggling to recall exactly why they've remained close all these years, the grieving women gather at Sylvie's old beach house--not for festivities this time, but to clean it out before it is sold. Can they survive together without her?

Without Sylvie to maintain the group's delicate equilibrium, frustrations build and painful memories press in. Fraying tempers, an elderly dog, unwelcome guests and too much wine collide in a storm that brings long-buried hurts to the surface--and threatens to sweep away their friendship for good.

The Weekend explores growing old and growing up, and what happens when we're forced to uncover the lies we tell ourselves. Sharply observed and excruciatingly funny, this is a jewel of a book: a celebration of tenderness and friendship from an award-winning writer.
03
A sharply observed, 24-hour urban love story that follows Stephen Connolly – a character from the bestselling novel The Children – through one of the worst days of his life. The day he has decided to dump his girlfriend.

On a stiflingly hot December day, Stephen has decided it’s time to break up with his girlfriend Fiona. He’s 39, aimless and unfulfilled, he’s without a clue working out how to make his life better. All he has are his instincts – and unfortunately they might just be his downfall . . .

As he makes his way through the pitiless city and the hours of a single day, Stephen must fend off his demanding family, endure another shift of his dead-end job at the zoo (including an excruciating teambuilding event), face up to Fiona’s aggressive ex-husband and the hysteria of a children’s birthday party that goes terribly wrong. As an ordinary day develops into an existential crisis, Stephen begins to understand – perhaps too late – that love is not a trap, and only he can free himself.

Hilarious, tender and heartbreaking, Animal People is a portrait of urban life, a meditation on the conflicted nature of human-animal relationships, and a masterpiece of storytelling.

Animal People invites readers to question the way we think about animals – what makes an ‘animal person’? What value do we, as a society, place on the lives of creatures? Do we brutalise our pets even as we love them? What’s wrong with anthropomorphism anyway? Filled with challenging ideas and shocks of recognition and revelation, Animal People shows a writer of great depth and compassion at work.
04
When their father is critically injured, foreign correspondent Mandy and her siblings return home, bringing with them the remnants and patterns of childhood. Mandy has lived away from the country for many years. Her head is filled with images of terror and war, and her homecoming to the quiet country town - not to mention her family and marriage - only heightens her disconnection from ordinary life.

Cathy, her younger sister, has stayed in regular contact with her parents, trying also to keep tabs on her brother Stephen who, for reasons nobody understands, has held himself apart from the family for years. In the intensive care unit the children sit, trapped between their bewildered mother and one another; between old wounds and forgiveness, struggling to connect with their emotions, their past and each other. But as they wait and watch over their father, there's someone else watching too: a young wardsman, Tony, who's been waiting for Mandy to come home. As he insinuates himself into the family, the pressure, and the threat, intensify and build to a climax of devastating force.

This acutely observed novel exposes the tenacious grip of childhood, the way siblings seem to grow apart but never do, and explores the price paid for bearing witness to the suffering of others - whether far away or uncomfortably close to home.
05
'Set me as a seal on your heart, for love is stronger than death.'

Spanning many years, travelling across Australia's vast continent and through some of Europe's great cities, The Submerged Cathedral is a beguiling, heartbreaking story of paradise and the fall; of faith, sacrifice and atonement; and of sisterly love and rivalry. Most of all, however, it is about an enduring and sacred love—a love stronger than death—and the journeys undertaken in its name.
06
The award-winning author of The Children and Animal People, explores the solitary and shared pleasures of cooking and eating in an ode to good food, prepared and presented with minimum fuss and maximum love.

'What's important is the fact of eating together - the gathering at the table, the conviviality.'

Love & Hunger is a distillation of everything Charlotte Wood has learned over more than twenty years about cooking and the pleasures of simple food well made. In this age of gastro-porn and the fetishisation of food, the pressure to be as expert as the chefs we've turned into celebrities can feel overwhelming.

An instant antidote to such madness is this wise and practical book - an ode to good food, prepared and presented with minimum fuss and maximum love.

Cooking represents 'creativity in its purest form'. It is meditation and stimulation, celebration and solace, a gift both offered and received. It can nourish the soul - and the mind - as well as the body. Love & Hunger will make you long to get into the kitchen to try the surprising tips and delicious recipes, and will leave you feeling freshly inspired to cook with joy for the people you love. Love & Hunger is a gift for all who value the solitary and shared pleasures of cooking and eating. Like a simple but glorious meal, this feast of a book is infused with warmth and generosity.

Acclaimed and award-winning novelist Charlotte Wood also writes the popular cookery blog How to Shuck an Oyster and is a brilliant home cook and food enthusiast. An invitation to dinner at Charlotte's house is always cause for celebration.
07
Love, envy, resentment, regret, tenderness - established, bestselling and award-winning writers explore the tensions, alliances and affections between siblings in this dazzling collection of stories, with contributions from Robert Drewe, Roger McDonald, Tegan Bennett Daylight, Cate Kennedy and many more.
09
‘The paint itself is part of the painting’s meaning; the words do not merely tell, but are the story…’ —Charlotte Wood

In The Best Australian Stories 2016, Charlotte Wood, author of The Natural Way of Things (winner of the 2016 Stella Prize, and the 2016 Indie Book of the Year), presents twenty pieces of outstanding short fiction.

Featuring the work of exciting new voices alongside stories by established favourites, this is a collection of great diversity. If it has a unifying thread, writes Wood, it might be her own preoccupation with ‘the trio of ghosts, monsters and visitations’. Some emerge from the natural world, others from the inner lives of characters contemplating death and its aftermath. Other stories still are playful, experimental or poetic, and celebrate the colours of the human experience.

Together they form an anthology of unusual power and resonance, which will surprise and delight in equal measure.
10
A beautifully observed short story by Charlotte Wood, author of "Animal People."