THE NATURAL WAY OF THINGS

‘You won’t read another book like it this year. Or ever.’

- Tegan Bennett Daylight, author of Six Bedrooms

 
 
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Synopsis

Drugged, captured, and brought against their will to a dilapidated cattle station in the Australian bush, Verla, Yolanda, and six other girls slowly come to. Their crimes: “sexual experience” ranging from affairs to rape, with men in high places who want them erased. Their violent, inept jailers and a vicious nurse beat them, force them to labour, and torture them.

When the company behind their capture Hardings fails to arrive and the food starts running out, each girl discovers what she is and what it will take to survive. Change is in the air, as the jailers become the jailed and everyone finds their new role in this terrifying ecosystem.

 
 
 
 

The Author

 Photo: Tobias Andreasson

Photo: Tobias Andreasson

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

Her fifth novel, The Natural Way of Things, was published in October 2015.  Her previous novel, Animal People, won the People's Choice medal in the 2013 NSW Premier's Literary Awards, was shortlisted for the 2013 Christina Stead Prize for Fiction and longlisted for the 2012 Miles Franklin Literary Award. Her earlier novels were also shortlisted for various prizes, including the Miles Franklin Award and regional Commonwealth Writers’ Prize.  Her non-fiction book is an essay collection, Love & Hunger: Thoughts on the Gift of Food

Charlotte was editor of The Writer's Room Interviews magazine from 2013-15, and in 2009 edited a collection of short stories about siblings by some of Australia's finest writers, called Brothers & Sisters. From 2014-15 she was Chair of Arts Practice for Literature at the Australia Council for the Arts.

 
 
 
 

Reviews

'A fully imagined dystopian parable, vivid, insightful, the voices of young women echoing through the gum trees...'

- Joan London, author of The Golden Age

 
‘Few other novels have captured the stain of misogyny quite like Charlotte Wood’s The Natural Way of Things. Wood’s is a tale of survival in a world where captivity takes many forms; where power is a negotiation not just between prisoner and persecutor but of how far some women are willing to go in order to be free. Terrifying, remarkable and utterly unforgettable.’
— Clementine Ford
Charlotte Wood’s book is a howl of despair and fury; but it is also that most rare and powerful of creations, a dystopian fiction that is perfectly judged, the writing controlled, the narrative engrossing and the language both searing and sensual. You can’t shake off this novel, it gets under your skin, fills your lungs, breaks your heart. As allegory, as a novel, as vision and as art it is stunning.
— Christos Tsiolkas, author of Barracuda
 

A work that will haunt the reader with its poetry and the stark truths buried within Wood’s brilliant exploration of a toxic culture in extremis.

- Portia Lindsay, The Australian