The brilliant new novel from Charlotte Wood, acclaimed author of The Natural Way of Things.
People went on about death bringing friends together, but it wasn’t true. The graveyard, the stony dirt – that’s what it was like now . . . Despite the three women knowing each other better than their own siblings, Sylvie’s death had opened up strange caverns of distance between them.
Four older women have a lifelong friendship of the best kind: loving, practical, frank and steadfast. But when Sylvie dies, the ground shifts dangerously for the remaining three. Can they survive together without her?
They are Jude, a once-famous restaurateur, Wendy, an acclaimed public intellectual, and Adele, a renowned actress now mostly out of work. Struggling to recall exactly why they’ve remained close all these years, the grieving women gather for Christmas at Sylvie’s old beach house – not for festivities, but to clean the place out before it is sold.
Without Sylvie to maintain the group’s delicate equilibrium, frustrations build and painful memories press in. Fraying tempers, an elderly dog, unwelcome guests and too much wine collide in a storm that brings long-buried hurts to the surface – and threatens to sweep away their friendship for good.
The Weekend explores growing old and growing up, and what happens when we’re forced to uncover the lies we tell ourselves. Sharply observed and excruciatingly funny, this is a jewel of a book: a celebration of tenderness and friendship that is nothing short of a masterpiece.
Charlotte Wood has been described as "one of our most original and provocative writers.” (The Australian).
Her fifth novel, The Natural Way of Things, was published in September 2015. Her previous novel, Animal People, won the People's Choice medal in the 2013 NSW Premier's Literary Awards, was shortlisted for the 2013 Christina Stead Prize for Fiction and longlisted for the 2012 Miles Franklin Literary Award. Her earlier novels were also shortlisted for various prizes, including the Miles Franklin Award and regional Commonwealth Writers’ Prize. Her non-fiction book is an essay collection, Love & Hunger: Thoughts on the Gift of Food.
Charlotte is also editor of The Writer's Room Interviews, a bimonthly digital magazine of conversations with Australian authors, and in 2009 edited a collection of short stories about siblings by some of Australia's finest writers, called Brothers & Sisters.
In 2014 she was appointed Chair of Arts Practice, Literature, at the Australia Council for the Arts. Charlotte writes an occasional blog 'on reading, writing and living' at www.howtoshuckanoyster.com, and lives in Sydney with her husband.