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The Natural Way of Things (Paperback)

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    (Fiction Paperback)
    1 on hand, as of Jun 19 8:45am
    (Fiction Paperback)

    Staff Reviews

    I thought it had to be science fiction, but what Charlotte Wood has accomplished is a violent (and stunning) exposition of inhabiting a female body. Young women, drugged, dropped in the middle of a vast Australian wasteland (not the outback, one of our protagonists thinks to herself early on, the outback has color) slowly come to, only to be shaved, dressed in roughshod calico and marched, chained together, to the electrified fence that encircles their new compound. This is only the very beginning of their trials. Their connection is their very public sexual scandals, ranging from mild to unspeakable, and for this they are taken here, how they don't know, to disappear under the "care" of two incompetent and sadistic wardens, and a nurse dangerous through her narcissistic ineptitude. Yet, when it becomes apparent that whatever authority has hired their captors will never appear, the tables quickly turn and the girls find a new strength in themselves. Beautiful and haunting, The Natural Way of Things will find itself as much a classic as A Handmaid's Tale, Lord of the Flies, and One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. (Ashanti)

    — From Ashanti


    "A Handmaid's Tale for the 21st century" (Prism Magazine), Wood's dystopian tale about a group of young women held prisoner in the Australian desert is a prescient feminist fable for our times. As the Guardian writes, "contemporary feminism may have found its masterpiece of horror."

    Drugged, dressed in old-fashioned rags, and fiending for a cigarette, Yolanda wakes up in a barren room. Verla, a young woman who seems vaguely familiar, sits nearby. Down a hallway echoing loudly with the voices of mysterious men, in a stark compound deep in the Australian outback, other captive women are just coming to. Starved, sedated, the girls can't be sure of anything--except the painful episodes in their pasts that link them.

    Drawing strength from the animal instincts they're forced to rely on, the women go from hunted to hunters, along the way becoming unforgettable and boldly original literary heroines that readers will both relate to and root for.

    The Natural Way of Things is a lucid and illusory fable and a brilliantly plotted novel of ideas that reminds us of mankind's own vast contradictions--the capacity for savagery, selfishness, resilience, and redemption all contained by a single, vulnerable body.

    2016 Stella Prize
    2016 Prime Minister's Literary Award in Fiction

    An Australian Indie Best Fiction Book & Overall Book of the Year Winner

    2017 International Dublin Literary Award
    2016 Voss Literary Prize
    2016 Victorian Premier's Award
    2016 The Miles Franklin Award

    About the Author

    Charlotte Wood is the author of five novels and one book of non-fiction. She has been described as one of Australia's "most original and provocative writers." Her novels have been shortlisted for many prizes, including the Christina Stead Prize for Fiction, the Miles Franklin Literary Award, and the regional Commonwealth Writers' Prize.
    Product Details
    ISBN: 9781609453626
    ISBN-10: 160945362X
    Publisher: Europa Editions
    Publication Date: June 28th, 2016
    Pages: 208
    Language: English