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Cover image courtesy of publisher.
y separately published work icon The Natural Way of Things single work   novel  
Issue Details: First known date: 2015... 2015 The Natural Way of Things
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'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)

Exhibitions

17215663
17023670
19046856
18667821

Adaptations

form y separately published work icon The Natural Way of Things Australia : 2017 9270594 2017 single work film/TV

Planned as a micro-budget feature film adaptation, the film is the work of independent producers Katia Nizic and Emma Dockery.

Reading Australia

Reading Australia

This work has Reading Australia teaching resources.

Unit Suitable For

AC: Senior Secondary Literature (Unit 4)

Themes

dystopia, feminism, gender, gender roles and stereotypes, human rights, misogyny, nature, patriarchy, power and authority, social control, stereotypes, Sustainability, the environment

General Capabilities

Critical and creative thinking, Ethical understanding, Literacy, Personal and social

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

    • Crows Nest, North Sydney - Lane Cove area, Sydney Northern Suburbs, Sydney, New South Wales,: Allen and Unwin , 2015 .
      image of person or book cover 2481414552963059006.jpg
      Cover image courtesy of publisher.
      Extent: 320p.
      Note/s:
      • Published October 2015
      ISBN: 9781760111236
    • New York (City), New York (State),
      c
      United States of America (USA),
      c
      Americas,
      :
      Europa Editions ,
      2016 .
      image of person or book cover 323305725133736331.jpg
      Image courtesy of publisher's website.
      Extent: 230p.p.
      Note/s:
      • Published June 28, 2016
      ISBN: 9781609453626
    • London,
      c
      England,
      c
      c
      United Kingdom (UK),
      c
      Western Europe, Europe,
      :
      Allen and Unwin ,
      2016 .
      image of person or book cover 8340790724328594313.jpg
      This image has been sourced from online.
      Extent: 316p.p.
      ISBN: 9781760291877, 1760291870
    • Crows Nest, North Sydney - Lane Cove area, Sydney Northern Suburbs, Sydney, New South Wales,: Allen and Unwin , 2018 .
      image of person or book cover 7417221589830084997.jpg
      Image courtesy of publisher's website.
      Extent: 1v.p.
      Edition info: Paperback
      Note/s:
      • Published October 2018.

      ISBN: 9781760633387
    • Crows Nest, North Sydney - Lane Cove area, Sydney Northern Suburbs, Sydney, New South Wales,: Allen and Unwin , 2019 .
      image of person or book cover 2647742160492388427.jpg
      Cover image courtesy of publisher.
      Extent: 320p.
      Note/s:
      • Published October 2019
      ISBN: 9781760877071
    • London,
      c
      England,
      c
      c
      United Kingdom (UK),
      c
      Western Europe, Europe,
      :
      Weidenfeld and Nicolson ,
      2019 .
      image of person or book cover 6209426907904457551.jpg
      Image courtesy of publisher's website.
      Extent: 336p.
      Note/s:
      • Published 21 August 2019.
      ISBN: 9781474614412
Alternative title: Der natürliche Lauf der Dinge
Language: German
    • Hamburg,
      c
      Germany,
      c
      Western Europe, Europe,
      :
      Arctis ,
      2017 .
      image of person or book cover 464838668678645759.jpg
      Image courtesy of publisher's website.
      Extent: 303p.p.
      ISBN: 9783038800019, 3038800015

Other Formats

  • Also dyslexic edition
  • Braille.
  • Sound recording.

Works about this Work

y separately published work icon At Home with Charlotte Wood Astrid Edwards (interviewer), Melbourne : Bad Producer Productions , 2021 23444599 2021 single work interview podcast

'Charlotte Wood is the award-winning and acclaimed author of six novels, a collection of interviews and a book about cooking. She has won the Stella Prize, the Prime Minister's Literary Award, the Indie Book of the Year, and most recently the ABIA for Literary Fiction.

'This interview explores her 2021 work of non-fiction, The Luminous Solution: Creativity, Resilience and the Inner Life. Charlotte has appeared on The Garret before, once exploring her most famous work, The Natural Way of Things, and again discussing her novel, The Weekend.' (Production summary)

What I’m Reading Rebecca Bryson , 2020 single work column
— Appears in: Meanjin Online 2020;
More Than ‘Rotten Apples’ : Australian Literature and the Possibility of Redemption for Men Who Abuse Daniel Moss , 2020 single work criticism
— Appears in: JASAL , vol. 20 no. 1 2020;

'Popular analyses of gendered violence focus on the need for an individually-focussed approach to the problem which calls for greater responsibility and accountability for individual men. Men who use violence are often viewed as bad apples; or as deviant to the moral codes which are necessary in a moral society. But contemporary Australian authors examine the socio-cultural, political and economic structures that promulgate inequality according to gender, class, age and culture. This inequality manifests in the gendered violence which Christos Tsiolkas, Richard Flanagan, Charlotte Wood, Zoe Morrison and Sofie Laguna portray as a product of neo-liberalism. The men within their fiction are affected by disconnection and individualism within our neo-liberal, patriarchal society. The male protagonists are subjects of, as well as producers of dominant practices of masculinity. Equally, their female characters are not merely passive victims of gendered power as they protest against and challenge the structures that support inequality. Through post-structural analyses which leaves room for contradiction and nuance within characters, these contemporary Australian authors are able to maintain hope for difference and redemption in the lives of men who use violence and abuse, and the women and children who are affected. They consciously avoid separating people in to categories of good or evil, or just and unjust, given that these dichotomies are central to the patriarchal and capitalistic systems of individuality and competition which they critique.' (Publication abstract) 

The Australian 'Waste Land': The Gender Politics of Bodies and Places in Mad Max Fury Road and The Natural Way of Things Ellen Rees , 2020 single work criticism
— Appears in: Beyond the Dark : Dystopian Texts in the Secondary English Classroom 2020; (p. 160-175)
Foreword Philip Mead , 2020 single work criticism
— Appears in: Beyond the Dark : Dystopian Texts in the Secondary English Classroom 2020; (p. viii-x)
The Horrors of Misogyny Taken to Extremes Portia Lindsay , 2015 single work review
— Appears in: The Weekend Australian , 26-27 September 2015; (p. 25)

— Review of The Natural Way of Things Charlotte Wood , 2015 single work novel
Charlotte Wood : The Natural Way of Things Kylie Mason , 2015 single work review
— Appears in: The Newtown Review of Books , October 2015;

— Review of The Natural Way of Things Charlotte Wood , 2015 single work novel
Listen to the Sirens Rosemary Sorensen , 2015 single work review
— Appears in: Sydney Review of Books , October 2015;

— Review of The Natural Way of Things Charlotte Wood , 2015 single work novel
Food for Thought as Women Prove the Great Survivors Kerryn Goldsworthy , 2015 single work review
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 10-11 October 2015; (p. 26) The Saturday Age , 10-11 October 2015; (p. 29)

— Review of The Natural Way of Things Charlotte Wood , 2015 single work novel
Well Read Katharine England , 2015 single work review
— Appears in: The Advertiser , 10 October 2015; (p. 28)

— Review of The Natural Way of Things Charlotte Wood , 2015 single work novel
A Ragged Pair of Claws Stephen Romei , 2015 single work column
— Appears in: The Weekend Australian , 5-6 September 2015; (p. 17)
Interview : Charlotte Wood Susan Wyndham (interviewer), 2015 single work interview
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 26 September 2015; (p. 24-25) The Saturday Age , 26-27 September 2015; (p. 24)
Dark material emerges when a writer decides to go with her instincts.
Best Reads – End of Story Deborah Bogle , 2015 single work column
— Appears in: The Sunday Mail , 20 December 2015; (p. 24)
Miles Franklin Award Longlist 2016 : Five Out of Nine Nominees Are Women Steph Harmon , 2016 single work column
— Appears in: The Guardian Australia , 5 April 2016;
Includes The 2016 Miles Franklin longlist
A Fierce Response to Misogyny Wins the Stella Prize Jason Steger , 2016 single work column
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 20 April 2016; (p. 6)
Last amended 13 Jul 2021 11:38:41
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