An inspiring work about creativity and resilience from the multi-award-winning author of The Weekend.
In this essential, illuminating book, award-winning writer Charlotte Wood shares the insights she has gained over a career paying close attention to her own mind, to the world around her, and to the way she and others work.
Drawing on research and decades of observant conversation and immersive reading, Wood shares what artists can teach the rest of us about inspiration and hard work, how to pursue truth in art and life, and how to find courage during difficult times.
Charlotte Wood is one of Australia’s most provocative and gifted writers. Her novel, The Natural Way of Things, won the 2016 Indie Book of the Year and Indie Fiction Book of the Year prizes, was shortlisted for the Stella Prize and the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award, and was longlisted for the Miles Franklin. Her 2020 novel, The Weekend, is an international bestseller that was also shortlisted for the Stella Prize and longlisted for the Miles Franklin.
With The Luminous Solution, she’s deviated slightly and has stepped away from fiction to instead focus on the exploration of creativity. Using her doctoral studies in creativity and decades of experience as an artist, she explores areas such as intuition and perseverance, nature and the artist, risk and safe territory, failure, and more. One chapter, ‘The Outside Voice,’ is a celebration of the unruly, untamed artist who has entered unexplored places. Another, ‘Afraid of the Dark’, discusses anger as a creative fuel. Throughout, Wood questions her own internal world, holding space for the reader to do the same. And that space is exquisite.
This isn’t just a book for artists, but for the artist in us all. In the Preface, Wood says:
‘A rich inner life is not just the preserve of the arts. The joys, fears and profound self-discoveries of creativity – through making or building anything that wasn’t there before, any imaginative exploration or attempt to invent – I believe to be the birthright of every person on this earth. If you live your life with curiosity and intention – or would like to – this book is for you.”
The Luminous Solution is a book about how thinking creatively can help all of us to live richer, more wholehearted lives. As always, Wood’s writing shines – it truly is luminous. This one is going on my gift-giving list for Christmas. It’s a wise, wondrous read for us all.