In ‘Nanoparticles’, Lisa cannily observes the people waiting alongside her at the motor registry, from the harried mother of two to the man engrossed in his newspaper. With her characteristically sharp and tender observations, Charlotte Wood examines the smallest things that draw us together and the many larger issues that wrench us apart.
(Allen & Unwin)
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Given I read for ‘the writing’ just as much or if not more than the ‘the plot’, I find short stories are a wonderful way to sample an author’s craft. The distillation and refinement of both idea and prose in the short form can yield some real literary gems.
Charlotte Wood’s Nanoparticles is one of those gems.
Honing in on an experience shared by many, one typically overlooked as banal, Woods skilfully explores the depths hidden behind facades. People’s insecurities, appearance, actions and motivations and the responses these elicit from those around them.
Woods prose is striking yet touching, her narrative uncompromising. Her capacity to capture, move and empower an audience in so few pages is truly something to be admired.
I look forward to reading more from this Australian author.
BOOK RATING: The Story 4.5 / 5 ; The Writing 4.5 / 5
Genre: Short Stories, Drama, Literature
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NOTE: I have since read and also highly recommend her novel Animal People.
About the Author, Charlotte Wood
Charlotte Wood is the best-selling author of The Children and Animal People and was short-listed for the Miles Franklin Literary Award for The Submerged Cathedral. Her novels have also been short-listed for many other awards, including the Australian Book Industry Awards and the regional Commonwealth Writers’ prize.