The Natural Way of Things

The Natural Way of Things

by Charlotte Wood


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The Natural Way of Things by Charlotte Wood

“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

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781609453626
Publisher: Europa Editions, Incorporated
Publication date: 06/28/2016
Pages: 208
Sales rank: 319,526
Product dimensions: 5.10(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.20(d)

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.

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The Natural Way of Things 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Katie_Bookish-Tendencies More than 1 year ago
[4 stars] First off, this book is based on true events, which is utterly terrifying. Basically, a group of girls get tricked, drugged, and brought to a decrepit sheep farm in the Australian Outback, and held captive behind an electric fence to perform manual labor for reasons unbeknownst to them. I have heard this described as “feminist horror” and that about sums it up. I found this to be a breathtaking read, full of descriptive writing that will have you squeezing your eyes shut to make it stop, and have your stomach rolling, to again, make it stop. Tension builds as the pages turn, and in the end you are satisfyingly left with more questions than answers. Questions not only about about the eventual circumstances of the characters, but of yourself as well. What would I do if I found myself in this seemingly impossible situation? For more, visit