We are SO excited about publishing Charlotte Wood’s remarkable new novel The Natural Way of Things, it’s been a huge talking point for staff over the past few months. We have to share some of their thoughts with you as we’re desperate for people to discuss this important book with!
First up, Charlotte’s publisher Jane, who also published The Slap amongst many other award winning books (including this year’s Miles Franklin winner The Eye of the Sheep), sharing her excitement for this incredible book:
Exquisite, visceral, enraging, haunting and profound – written in language so beautiful it took my breath away. I can honestly say I haven’t felt so excited about a novel and its potential since turning the first manuscript page of The Slap.
– Jane Palfreyman, Publisher
Spectacular… poetic… smack-in-the-face:
Our rights team were also blown away by it:
…a spectacular, literary achievement that is gritty, visceral and poetic…an Australian Lord of the Flies for our time
– Wenona Byrne, Rights and International Sales Manager
I am still shocked, and raging. This is brilliantly, stunningly imagined. Shocking to have to come face-to-face with reality. To be left bereft, knowing that these hollowed out lives are an ongoing, despicable truth. I could not believe I had reached the end. There had to be more. But, actually, there is not. And by revealing so little detail about her characters, Charlotte Wood hammers home the far more important, desperately sorry big picture. That is the smack-in-the-face takeaway. A must-read.
– Angela Namoi, Rights and International Sales Director
Shocking… audaciously original… powerful… disturbing… essential… compelling…
Just some of the words used by our editorial team who were equally enthralled:
This put me through the wringer like 1984 or Lord of the Flies did. Very rarely one comes across a book that is truly original. This book is vast in its imagination and its scope is audaciously original. Charlotte Wood takes the reader to landscapes that are at once violently foreign yet emotionally at home. Like the most convincing dystopian visions The Natural Way of Things is at first shocking then develops a rhythm of bizarre familiarity. There are achingly beautiful description and insights into brutality and the will to survive.’
– Belinda Lee, Senior Editor
The Natural Way of Things is an incredibly powerful novel; reading it is like receiving a swift blow to the head that wakes you from a nightmarish state of apathy and darkness into the light. I have been reeling from it and fired up about this book for weeks since my first reading. The way that Charlotte writes so lyrically, sensitively and with such precision of language, and at the same time shakes you to the core, shows a rare talent. At first I had few words to describe how I felt about the novel other than ‘stunned’. Now I want to shout from the rooftops that everyone has to read this book. It’s both disturbing and essential reading for our times. Read it and rethink your relationships and the kind of society you live in now and want to live in in the future.
– Siobhan Cantrill, Senior Editor
I was instantly enthralled and I think the premise of these girls who are somewhere between victim, sacrificial offering, object of derision and social outcast being ‘disappeared’ is utterly compelling.
– Sam Redman, Senior Editor
It’s a very important book, so strong and unique and also beautiful, and I loved it. There’s anger, yes (fittingly), but more than anything I think this is a book about what it means to be a woman, and I found it utterly absorbing.
– Clara Finlay, Editor
…what a mighty, mighty talent Charlotte Wood is! Her ability to combine the epic and the intimate delivers a novel that is at once rich, horrifying and totally compelling. Reminded me of The Secret History meets the film Wake in Fright in the way it combines the lyrical with the absolutely brutal.
– Genevieve Buzo, Editorial Coordinator
A story that makes you enraged… like a lucid dream, horrifying and beautiful
What is the measure of a good book? Is it one written in exquisite language that makes you feel a character’s pain, their hunger and their fear? Is it a story that describes the body and the environment in such a visceral way that at times your belly physically turns over in response to the words you just read. Is it one that makes you question the society we live in and your own part in it? Or a story that makes you enraged for what the characters have to endure, as well as, confusingly, angry at some of them for the choices they ultimately make? The Natural Way of Things is a novel that does all this and more. Book clubs are going to love this!
– Jane Duffy, Marketing Coordinator
Like a lucid dream, horrifying and beautiful. The writing is punch-cut, multi-faceted clarity reflecting Australia’s land and the ways women are controlled by culture today, but maybe not tomorrow, thanks to this book.
– Sarah Menary, Communications Manager, Faber Academy
Read an extract from The Natural Way of Things
Don’t take our word for it though have a read for yourself below and discover just what Stephen Romei means when writing in The Australian of The Natural Way of Things:
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.
The Natural Way of Things trailer
Watch the trailer to learn more, and find further love for Charlotte Wood’s The Natural Way of Things from fellow authors: