Books In Brief: The Natural Way of Things by Charlotte Wood

THE TITLE: The Natural Way of Things (2015)

THE AUTHOR: Charlotte Wood, an Australian author who won the 2016 Stella Prize - a major women's writing award - for this novel.

THE BRIEF: A story about contemporary misogyny and female friendship as ten women are abducted and held prisoner in a mysterious outback asylum. 

THE FIRST PAGE: "So there were kookaburras here. This was the first thing Yolanda knew in the dark morning... She got out of the bed and felt gritty boards beneath her feet. There was the course unfamiliar fabric of a nightdress on her skin. Who had put this on her? "


The Guardian: "The fury of contemporary feminism may have found its masterpiece of horror."

NPR: "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. Set in a dystopian backwater, her short, gripping book begins as an allegory of thuggish misogyny then evolves into a far stranger and more challenging feminist parable." 

Sydney Morning Herald: "It's a creepy set-up with an unknown corporate enemy behind their imprisonment; the tension builds as conditions worsen. But there is no graphic violence and it's the unpredictable development of the characters under pressure that is fascinating."