This is a monthly series hosted by Michaela Kalowski. Authors talk about their latest work, their body of work, writing process and ideas that inspire them.
Meet Charlotte Wood.
Sydney based Charlotte has an incredible ten books under her writing belt – seven novels and three non fiction works including The Natural Way of Things and the international bestseller The Weekend. She has been shortlisted for several awards including the Stella Prize and the Prime Minister's Literary Award, both of which she won, among others, for The Natural Way of Things, in 2016. That title also featured in the 2021 ABC Television series, The Books That Made Us.
In 2019 Charlotte was made a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) and named one of the Australian Financial Review’s 100 Women of Influence. Her features and essays have appeared in The New York Times, The Guardian, Literary Hub, The Sydney Morning Herald and The Saturday Paper among other publications and Belvoir Theatre Company in Sydney staged an adaptation of The Weekend in August 2023.
Described as one of Australia's most acclaimed and best loved writers, Charlotte's latest novel, Stone Yard Devotional is a deeply moving novel about forgiveness, grief, and what it means to be 'good'.
“A woman abandons her city life and marriage to return to the place of her childhood, holding up in a small religious community hidden away on the stark plains of the Monaro. She does not believe in God, doesn't know what prayer is, and finds herself living this strange, reclusive life almost by accident. As she gradually adjusts to the rhythms of monastic life, she finds herself turning again and again to thoughts of her mother, whose early death she can't forget. Disquiet interrupts this secluded life with three visitations. First comes a terrible mouse plague, each day signalling a new battle against the rising infestation. Second is the return of the skeletal remains of a sister who left the community decades before to minister to deprived women in Thailand – then disappeared, presumed murdered. Finally, a troubling visitor to the monastery pulls the narrator further back into her past. With each of these disturbing arrivals, the woman faces some deep questions. Can a person be truly good? What is forgiveness? Is loss of hope a moral failure? And can the business of grief ever really be finished?”
"Wood joins the ranks of writers such as Nora Ephron, Penelope Lively and Elizabeth Strout." The Guardian UK
Michaela Kalowski is an interviewer, moderator and curator for writers and ideas festivals. Highlight interviews include Margaret Atwood, David Mitchell, Michelle de Kretser, Amos Oz, Stan Grant, Holly Ringland & Etgar Keret. She's the curator of ABC RN’s on-air writers festival, Big Weekend of Books, now in its 4th year. In 2022 she was curator of International Author events for Brisbane Writers Festival. Michaela has conducted radio interviews for ABC RN’s The Music Show, Big Ideas & The Bookshelf, ABC Classic and has presented programs across ABC radio.