Picture of author.

Charlotte Wood

Autor(a) de The Natural Way of Things

17+ Works 1,256 Membros 79 Reviews

About the Author

Charlotte Wood was born in 1965 in Wales. She received a BA from Charles Sturt University and a Master of Creative Arts from UTS. She is the author several books including Pieces of a Girl, The Submerged Cathedral, The Children, Animal People, and The Natural Way of Things, which was named Indie mostrar mais Book of the Year for 2016, won the 2016 Stella Prize for women's writing and she became a joint winner of the 2016 Prime Ministers Award for fiction. She has also written a collection of short personal reflections on cooking entitled Love and Hunger. She was also editor of the anthology of writing about siblings entitled Brothers and Sisters. She won the 2013 People's Choice Award, NSW Premier's Literary Award for Animal People. In 2016, she was awarded the University of Sydney's $100,000 Charles Perkins Centre Writer in Residence fellowship. (Bowker Author Biography) mostrar menos

Obras de Charlotte Wood

The Natural Way of Things (2015) 505 cópias
The Weekend (2019) 326 cópias
The Children (2007) 98 cópias
The Submerged Cathedral (2004) 93 cópias
Animal people (2011) 59 cópias
Brothers and Sisters (2009) 38 cópias
Pieces of a Girl (1999) 29 cópias
Love and hunger (1615) 27 cópias
Stone Yard Devotional (2023) 18 cópias
The Best Australian Stories 2016 (2016) — Editor — 17 cópias
Helpings (2011) 2 cópias
Monkey Grip 1 exemplar(es)

Associated Works

I for Isobel (1989) — Introdução, algumas edições124 cópias
10 Short Stories You Must Read in 2011 (2011) — Contribuinte, algumas edições50 cópias
The Best Australian Stories 2005 (2005) — Contribuinte — 19 cópias
Art Map_ : 2017 (2016) — Project Manager — 2 cópias


Conhecimento Comum



I could be wrong, but I think Stone Yard Devotional will test the loyalty of some of Charlotte Wood's more recent fans. I found it compulsive reading, and read on through the night, but though the preoccupation with human frailty in Stone Yard Devotional is there in her earlier work too, this novel is a departure from Wood's most recent fiction. There are no angry strident feminists as in The Natural Way of Things (2015), and her central character has deliberately jettisoned the succour of female friendship among older women that we saw tested in The Weekend (2019). Stone Yard Devotional (2023) is about a middle-aged woman alone and struggling with existential questions about goodness, forgiveness, hope and despair.

Indeed, this meditation on the life that's been lived reads more like an extended examination of conscience than anything else.

Catholics define examination of conscience as a process...
...to help call to mind our sins and failings during a period of quiet reflection before approaching the Priest in Confession. (Bulldog Catholic, viewed 3/11/23)

And although the central, unnamed narrator asserts her atheism from time to time, and there's certainly no mention of the Catholic ritual of confession in the novel, the preoccupation with wrongs done to others and the regrets she feels about her sins and failings seem quasi-religious to me.

Of course, that's not to say that non-believers don't engage in similar kinds of self-reflection. Most religious rites derive from rituals and ceremonies that humans do anyway.

This woman takes time out from her failed marriage and her busy life as a some kind of administrator for environmental concerns, to spend a week in solitude in a religious community on the Monaro. This small community of nuns ekes out an income by taking in guests who need a temporary escape to a life of simplicity, routine and peace. This is no 'wellness centre' with gourmet healthy meals, massage and luxury accommodation. What appeals to her is the solitude, the silence and the opportunity to reflect on her life without distraction. She decides to make this place her refuge and she joins the community. Not as a nun, but as a secular conventual oblate i.e. a committed volunteer in the service of the community, abiding by its rules but not necessarily sharing its religious beliefs.

The reader is given little or nothing in the way of a back story. We soon learn that she is grieving the death of her mother from some time ago, but we don't know why her relationship with Alex has failed, and we assume there are no children. We know very little about her friends except that they are hurt by her abandonment. The activist community from which she has summarily withdrawn is bereft as well. They do not understand, and she makes no attempt to explain, merely unsubscribing from everything.
The last thing I did on email before coming here for good was scroll and click. Threatened Species Rescue Centre: unsubscribe. Nature Conservation Council: unsubscribe. Rainforest Alliance: unsubscribe. Human Rights Watch: unsubscribe. Indigenous Literacy Foundation: unsubscribe. National Justice Project, Pay the Rent, Foodbank, Wilderness Society. Ethical Investments. Amnesty International, Red Cross, Climate Act Now, National Justice Project[sic], Aboriginal Legal Service, Bob Brown Foundation. Extinction Rebellion: unsubscribe. Change.org: unsubscribe. Fred Hollows Foundation. Greenpeace, Green Living Australia, Action Network, BirdLife Australia, Daintree Buyback. Chuffed.org. GoFundMe. Helen Parry Legal defence Fund: unsubscribe. (p.152)

Despite this disconnection from people and causes that she had obviously held dear, her retreat to a spare, monastic life can still be disturbed.

To read the rest of my review please visit https://anzlitlovers.com/2023/11/03/stone-yard-devotional-2023-by-charlotte-wood...
… (mais)
anzlitlovers | Nov 3, 2023 |
Habe mir etwas ganz anderes vorgestellt, eine Frau verlässt ihr altes Leben und geht in ein Kloster. Aber warum? Wen hat sie verlassen? Wie genau ist das abgelaufen? Warum ist sie im Kloster, aber keine Nonne? Nichts davon wird erklärt. Stattdessen werden Erinnerungen an die Kindheit und aktuelle Geschehnisse im Kloster erzählt, zum Beispiel eine Mäuseplage. Fehlkauf.
Patkue | Oct 30, 2023 |
A low three stars. I want to like this a lot, but I don't think I really do. Having sampled some of Wood's other (more recent) work, I think maybe I like her more as she gets older.

The plot of this book is fairly solid, although I'm not entirely sure I was convinced by the motivation behind Martin's mid-book decision that's fairly significant. And it's an interesting historical romance. Still, I think you have to be able to justify lines like "His certainty falls over her like rain", and I'm not sure this prose style can quite do that. (I'm also intrigued by the author's bald admission in the endnotes that she "transplanted" a real-life event a few years earlier to fit her timeline! Might have been best just to discreetly get away with that one...)… (mais)
therebelprince | outras 5 resenhas | Oct 24, 2023 |
This novel won the Stella Prize for the best Australian novel by a woman, and it thoroughly deserved it. To me it reads like a cross between Lord of the Flies and The Handmaid's Tale. It is gripping in the telling with a pair of unforgettable female characters in the feral Yolande and the aloof Verla, along with a dark-hearted villain in Boncer.

The novel starts with Verla and Yolande awakening from a drugged slumber to find that they have been captured. They and a group of other young women are taken off to detention in the outback somewhere. They are trapped inside an electric fence, shaven-headed, forced to wear filthy clothing and eat disgusting food, quartered in kennels like beasts and subject to the depredations of the violent Boncer and the nihilistic Teddy.

The reasons for their capture and detention are never quite clear, but a common thread seems to have been that each was sexually profligate in some fashion. Perhaps this is some fierce backlash by a moralistic patriarchy determined to put them in their place.

The women madly scramble to survive any way they can, and each gradually starts to occupy a place in their microcosm of society: cook, hunter, gatherer, fire-tenderer, concubine. As they combine forces, they find that they can push back against their captors, but can they ever actually escape?

There are enough references to popular culture in this book to make it clear that Wood's dystopia is set in our near future, which leads the reader to contemplate the forces at work in our society that could realistically lead to this outcome: brutal detention, violence against women, a dominant religious patriarchy, government secrecy, imprisonment without trial, the deprivation of civil liberties - all of these elements exist in today's Australia, which just makes Wood's novel all the more real.
… (mais)
gjky | outras 29 resenhas | Apr 9, 2023 |



You May Also Like

Associated Authors

Kate Ryan Contributor
Nasrin Mahoutchi Contributor
Michelle Wright Contributor
Ellen van Neerven Contributor
Abigail Ulman Contributor
Elizabeth Tan Contributor
Trevor Shearston Contributor
Paddy O’Reilly Contributor
Michael McGirr Contributor
Georgia Blain Contributor
Fiona McFarlane Contributor
Jack Latimore Contributor
Julie Koh Contributor
Elizabeth Harrower Contributor
Jennifer Down Contributor
Gregory Day Contributor
Brian Castro Contributor
David Brooks Contributor
James Bradley Contributor
Ailsa Piper Narrator
Taylor Owynns Narrator
Kellie Jones Narrator
Troy Planet Narrator


Also by
½ 3.6
Pedras de toque

Tabelas & Gráficos