AustLit logo
person or book cover
Photo courtesy of the author.
Charlotte Wood Charlotte Wood i(A36080 works by)
Born: Established: 1965 Cooma, Cooma area, Cooma - Snowy - Bombala area, Southeastern NSW, New South Wales, ;
Gender: Female
The material on this page is available to AustLit subscribers. If you are a subscriber or are from a subscribing organisation, please log in to gain full access. To explore options for subscribing to this unique teaching, research, and publishing resource for Australian culture and storytelling, please contact us or find out more.


Wood grew up in the town of Cooma, NSW, in a large family. After completing a cadetship on the local newspaper, she went to Charles Sturt University in Bathurst, NSW, where she studied journalism and began writing fiction in her mid-twenties under the tutelage of Joan Phillip. She has worked as a freelance journalist and sub-editor, and her first novel was published in 1999, when she was 34. She notes Kate Llewellyn, Kate Grenville and Patrick White as early influences, and before her first novel was published, she briefly attended writing classes with Sue Woolfe.

Wood is based in Sydney, and has been in residence at Varuna Writers' Retreat and Bundanon on several occasions. She has a Masters degree in Creative Arts from the University of Technology, Sydney and in 2013 was engaged in a PhD, part of which is exploring the psychology of literary creativity. She launched the bi-monthly journal, The Writer's Room Interviews, in February 2013.

Her 2015 novel, The Natural Way of Things, swept the Australian literary awards for 2016, winning the Stella Prize, the Indie Book of the Year and Novel of the Year, and the Prime Minister's Literary Award for Fiction (joint winner with Lisa Gorton's The Life of Houses).

In 2016, she was named the Charles Perkins Centre's inaugural Writer in Residence at the University of Sydney.


Most Referenced Works

Personal Awards

Awards for Works

y separately published work icon The Weekend Crows Nest : Allen and Unwin , 2019 16866680 2019 single work novel

'The brilliant new novel from Charlotte Wood, acclaimed author of The Natural Way of Things .

'People went on about death bringing friends together, but it wasn't true. The graveyard, the stony dirt - that's what it was like now. They knew each other better than their own siblings, but Sylvie's death had opened up strange caverns of distance between them.

'Four older women with a lifelong friendship of the best kind: loving, practical, frank and steadfast. But when Sylvie dies, the ground shifts dangerously for the remaining three. Can they survive together without her?

'They are Jude, a once-famous restaurateur, Wendy, an acclaimed public intellectual, and Adele, a renowned actress now mostly out of work. Struggling to recall exactly why they've remained close all these years, the grieving women gather for Christmas at Sylvie's old beach house - not for festivities, but to clean the place out before it is sold.

'Without Sylvie to maintain the group's delicate equilibrium, frustrations build and painful memories press in. Fraying tempers, an elderly dog, unwelcome guests and too much wine collide in a storm that brings long-buried hurts to the surface - and threatens to sweep away their friendship for good.

'The Weekend explores growing old and growing up, and what happens when we're forced to uncover the lies we tell ourselves. Sharply observed and excruciatingly funny, this is a jewel of a book, a celebration of tenderness and friendship that is nothing short of a masterpiece.'  (Publication summary)

2021 shortlisted New South Wales Premier's Literary Awards Christina Stead Prize for Fiction
2020 shortlisted Prime Minister's Literary Awards Fiction
2020 shortlisted Booksellers Choice Award Adult Fiction Book of the Year
2020 shortlisted ASAL Awards ALS Gold Medal
2020 longlisted Miles Franklin Literary Award
2020 winner Australian Book Industry Awards (ABIA) Australian Literary Fiction Book of the Year
2020 shortlisted The Stella Prize
2020 shortlisted Indie Awards Fiction
y separately published work icon The Natural Way of Things Crows Nest : Allen and Unwin , 2015 8719111 2015 single work novel (taught in 5 units)

'She hears her own thick voice deep inside her ears when she says, 'I need to know where I am.' The man stands there, tall and narrow, hand still on the doorknob, surprised. He says, almost in sympathy, 'Oh, sweetie. You need to know what you are.'

'Two women awaken from a drugged sleep to find themselves imprisoned in a broken-down property in the middle of a desert. Strangers to each other, they have no idea where they are or how they came to be there with eight other girls, forced to wear strange uniforms, their heads shaved, guarded by two inept yet vicious armed jailers and a 'nurse'. The girls all have something in common, but what is it? What crime has brought them here from the city? Who is the mysterious security company responsible for this desolate place with its brutal rules, its total isolation from the contemporary world? Doing hard labour under a sweltering sun, the prisoners soon learn what links them: in each girl's past is a sexual scandal with a powerful man. They pray for rescue - but when the food starts running out it becomes clear that the jailers have also become the jailed. The girls can only rescue themselves.

'The Natural Way of Things is a gripping, starkly imaginative exploration of contemporary misogyny and corporate control, and of what it means to hunt and be hunted. Most of all, it is the story of two friends, their sisterly love and courage.

'With extraordinary echoes of The Handmaid's Tale and Lord of the Flies, The Natural Way of Things is a compulsively readable, scarifying and deeply moving contemporary novel. It confirms Charlotte Wood's position as one of our most thoughtful, provocative and fearless truth-tellers, as she unflinchingly reveals us and our world to ourselves.' (Publication summary)

2016 shortlisted Voss Literary Prize
2016 longlisted Kibble Literary Awards Nita Kibble Literary Award
2016 shortlisted Miles Franklin Literary Award
2016 shortlisted Australian Book Industry Awards (ABIA) Australian Literary Fiction Book of the Year
2016 winner The Stella Prize
2016 winner Indie Awards Fiction
2016 shortlisted Victorian Premier's Literary Awards Prize for Fiction
2016 shortlisted Australian Booksellers Association Awards Booksellers Choice Award
2017 shortlisted New South Wales Premier's Literary Awards Christina Stead Prize for Fiction
2016 commended James Tiptree, Jr Award
2017 longlisted International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award
2016 joint winner Prime Minister's Literary Awards Fiction With Lisa Gorton's The Life of Houses.
2016 shortlisted Barbara Jefferis Award
2016 shortlisted Queensland Literary Awards Fiction Book Award
y separately published work icon Animal People Crows Nest : Allen and Unwin , 2011 Z1799698 2011 single work novel (taught in 2 units) '"He could not find one single more word to say. I just want to be free. He could not say those words. They had already withered in his mind, turned to dust. He did not even know, he marvelled now, what the hell those words had meant."

'Acclaimed novelist Charlotte Wood takes a character from her bestselling book The Children and turns her unflinching gaze on him and his world in her extraordinary novel, Animal People. Set in Sydney over a single day, Animal People traces a watershed day in the life of Stephen, aimless, unhappy, unfulfilled - and without a clue as to how to make his life better.

'His dead-end job, his demanding family, his oppressive feelings for Fiona and the pitiless city itself ... the great weight of it all threatens to come crashing down on him. The day will bring untold surprises and disasters, but will also show him - perhaps too late - that only love can set him free.

'Sharply observed, hilarious, tender and heartbreaking, Animal People is a portrait of urban life, a meditation on the conflicted nature of human-animal relationships, and a masterpiece of storytelling. Filled with shocks of recognition and revelation, it shows a writer of great depth and compassion at work. (From the publisher's website.)
2013 winner New South Wales Premier's Literary Awards People's Choice Award
2013 shortlisted New South Wales Premier's Literary Awards Christina Stead Prize for Fiction
2012 shortlisted Kibble Literary Awards Nita Kibble Literary Award
2012 longlisted Miles Franklin Literary Award
Last amended 28 Jun 2021 11:16:37
Other mentions of "" in AustLit: