Allen & Unwin
Charlotte Wood's first novel, Pieces of a Girl, was published in 1999, and won the 1998 Jim Hamilton Award for an unpublished manuscript. Both this and her second novel, The Submerged Cathedral (2004), were highly praised by reviewers and award judges, and the latter was shortlisted for the 2005 Miles Franklin Award and the 2005 Commonwealth Writers' Prize, SE Asia/Sth Pacific. Her third novel, The Children, received rave reviews and was a bestseller, selling over 10,000 copies in trade paperback. She lives in Sydney.
'He could not find one single more word to say. I just want to be free. He could not say those words. They had already withered in his mind, turned to dust. He did not even know, he marvelled now, what the hell those words had meant.'
Acclaimed novelist Charlotte Wood takes a character from her bestselling book The Children and turns her unflinching gaze on him and his world in her extraordinary novel, Animal People. Set in Sydney over a single day, Animal People traces a watershed day in the life of Stephen, aimless, unhappy, unfulfilled – and without a clue as to how to make his life better.
His dead-end job, his demanding family, his oppressive feelings for Fiona and the pitiless city itself ... the great weight of it all threatens to come crashing down on him. The day will bring untold surprises and disasters, but will also show him – perhaps too late – that only love can set him free.
Sharply observed, hilarious, tender and heartbreaking, Animal People is a portrait of urban life, a meditation on the conflicted nature of human-animal relationships, and a masterpiece of storytelling. Filled with shocks of recognition and revelation, it shows a writer of great depth and compassion at work.