Date 27 Jul, 2016
Time 6:30pm
Cost Free
Venue Better Read Than Dead, King Street, Newtown, New South Wales, Australia

Join Miles Franklin Literary Award 2016 Finalists Charlotte Wood and A.S. Patrić at an exclusive bookstore event!

The event, hosted by Better Read Than Dead, will explore their Miles Franklin Literary Award Finalist novels The Natural Way of Things (Charlotte Wood) and Black Rock White City (A.S Patrić). There will also be a Q&A panel and an opportunity to have your books signed. For more information, click here.

About Charlotte

Charlotte Wood is the author of five novels and a book of non-fiction, and editor of The Writer’s Room Interviews magazine. Her last novel, Animal People, was longlisted for the Miles Franklin award and her other books have been shortlisted for many prizes including the Miles Franklin and the Christina Stead Prize for Fiction. The Australian described her as “one of our finest and most chameleonic writers”. She lives in Sydney.

Miles Franklin Literary Award judges’ comments:

Charlotte Wood’s confronting story of misogyny is both shockingly realist in its details and deeply allegorical in its shape. Ten young women, all of whom have been involved in some kind of sexual scandal involving powerful men, are drugged and taken to a remote location, apparently an abandoned sheep station. There they are held indefinitely, in primitive conditions reminiscent of the detention centres that surround us today, where prisoners are held without trial, without any prospect of freedom, and staff openly abuse inmates.

The novel shows how misogyny is both institutionalised – they are punished for being women, simply – and internalised by the girls themselves who, for the most part, seem to believe that ‘through the natural way of things,’ they brought this fate on themselves. Yolanda, when she realises this, retreats from humankind, turning herself into an animal, like those she traps and feeds to the others. Verla, the other focus character who enables readers to enter imaginatively into this suffocating prison world, has to pass through madness before she stops believing that she will be rescued. The other girls find resources among themselves to take action, as the novel builds to a violent climax and a disturbing resolution.

About A.S. Patrić

A. S. Patrić is the award winning author of Las Vegas for Vegans, published in 2012 by Transit Lounge. Las Vegas for Vegans was shortlisted for the 2013 Queensland Literary Awards’ Steele Rudd Prize. His debut novel Black Rock White City was launched to critical acclaim in 2015. He is also the author of Bruno Kramzer and The Rattler & other stories. Alec lives in bayside Melbourne and is a St Kilda bookseller.

Miles Franklin Literary Award judges’ comments:

A fresh and powerful exploration of the immigrant experience and Australian life, Black Rock White City explores the damages of war, the constraints of choice, the possibility of redemptive love and social isolation amid suburbia.

Traumatised by the carnage and personal tragedies of war-torn Yugoslavia, Jovan and Suzana wash up in mid-90s Melbourne where, a former poet and an academic, they find themselves limited by language and cultural stereotype into roles as cleaners.

A menacing sense of anarchy inhabits the hospital where Jovan works after an anonymous ‘Dr Graffito’ begins defacing the wards with cryptic, distressing messages. It is Jovan’s job to erase the evidence, all the while negotiating the blandness of a society that doesn’t see him, or the flashbacks of his former life and his dysfunctional marriage to Suzana.

In language as crisp and pungent as the chemicals Jovan uses to erase the graffiti, Black Rock White City submerges the reader in its unapologetic intimacy.  It is at times brutal, and frequently challenging, yet a deft poetry underlies its cinematic reach. Patric’s idiosyncratic awareness and sometimes disconcerting vision inhabits the margins between realism and fable as the novel’s invigorating vitality, astute wit and adroit observations on the links between language and identity gives us a roller-coaster read that pins the immigrant – and the wider Australian  – experience with an eye that is unflinchingly, and unforgettably, honest.