Charlotte Wood

Onafhankelijk van geboortedata

De Australische schrijfster Charlotte Wood werd geboren in 1965 in Cooma, New South Wales. Woods behaalde een PhD van de University of New South Wales; een Master of Creative Arts van UTS en een BA van de Charles Sturt University. Zij schreef vijf romans – “Pieces of a Girl” (1999), “The Submerged Cathedral” (2004), “The Children” (2007), “Animal People” (2011) en “The Natural Way of Things” (2015). Ze heeft ook een bundel interviews gepubliceerd met Australische schrijvers, “The Writer’s Room” (2016) en een bundel persoonlijke reflecties over koken “Love & Hunger” (2012). Ze was ook redacteur van een bloemlezing over het schrijven over broers en zussen, “Brothers & Sisters” (2009). In 2016 kreeg zij voor “The Natural Way of Things” de Stella-prijs, de Indie Book Award Novel of the Year en de Book of the Year, en stond zij op de shortlist van diverse andere prijzen. “Animal People” stond in 2013 op de shortlist voor de Literary Awards van de NSW Premier en stond op de longlist voor de Miles Franklin Award 2012. Woods heeft een achtergrond in de journalistiek en heeft ook op verschillende niveaus als docente creatief schrijven gewerkt. In 2014 werd ze benoemd tot voorzitter van Arts Practice, Literature, at the Australia Council for the Arts – een benoeming van drie jaar waar door budgetbeperkingen naar een jaar van overbleef. In mei 2016 werd bekend dat Wood de Writer in Residence Fellowship kreeg aan het Charles Perkins Center van de University of Sydney.

Uit: The Natural Way of Things

„So there were kookaburras here. This was the first thing Yolanda knew in the dark morning. (That and where’s my durries?) Two birds breaking out in that loose, sharp cackle, a bird call before the sun was up, loud and lunatic. She got out of the bed and felt gritty boards beneath her feet. There was the coarse unfamiliar fabric of a nightdress on her skin. Who had put this on her? She stepped across the dry wooden floorboards and stood, craning her neck to see through the high narrow space of a small window. The two streetlights she had seen in her dream turned out to be two enormous stars in a deep blue sky. The kookaburras dazzled the darkness with their horrible noise. Later there would be other birds; sometimes she would ask about them, but questions made people suspicious and they wouldn’t answer her. She would begin to make up her would have known there could he so many birds in the middle of absolutely fucking nowhere? But that would all come later. Here, on this first morning, before everything began, she stared up at the sky as the blue night lightened, and listened to the kookaburras and thought, Oh, yes, )nu are right. She had been delivered to an asylum. She groped her way along the walls to a door. But there was no handle. She felt at its edge with her fingernails: locked. She climbed back into the bed and pulled the sheet and blanket up to her neck. Perhaps they were right. Perhaps she was mad, and all would be well. She knew she was not mad, but all lunatics thought that. When they were small she and Darren had once collected mounds of moss from under the tap at the back of the flats, in the dank corner of the yard where it was always cool, even on the hottest days. They prised up the clumps of moss, the earth heavy in their fingers, and it was a satisfying job, lifting a corner and being careful not to crack the lump, getting better as they went at not splitting the moss and pulling it to pieces. They filled a crackled orange plastic bucket with the moss and took it out to the verge on the street to sell. ‘Moss for sale!’ they screamed at the hot cars going by, giggling and gesturing and clowning, and, ‘Wouldja like to buy some moss?’ more politely if a man or woman walked past. Nobody bought any moss, even when they spread it beautifully along the verge, and Darren sent Yolanda hack twice for water to pour over it, to keep it springy to the touch.”

Charlotte Wood (Cooma, 1965)