Details: Critics and readers alike have long commented on Charlotte Wood’s acute ability to dissect sibling relationships in her novels. Lifelong resentments, tensions, alliances and affections between brothers and sisters play out in her books to brilliant effect. Here, Charlotte brings her skills to an anthology of newly-commissioned stories by well-known and new writers – Nam Le, Christos Tsiolkas, Tony Birch, Tegan Bennett Daylight, Robert Drewe, Ashley Hay, Cate Kennedy, Roger McDonald, Paddy O’Reilly, Virginia Peters, Michael Sala, Charlotte Wood – who have written about the sister/brother relationships, both in fictional and non-fictional forms.
Your brother or sister, it might be said, is your other self – your grander, sadder, braver, shrewder, uglier, slenderer self … Your sibling is your most severe judge and your fiercest defender. You must always rescue them. They always abandon you … You recognise one another, this is your relief and your ruin. They are your duty. They stun you with the sudden presence and force of their goodness. They give you Christmas presents that show you are strangers. You are strangers. You love them; it cannot be explained why or how.
– From the Introduction to Brothers & Sisters;
A girl sneaks into her brothers’ rooms to rummage through their pockets while they’re out. A man boards a plane to go to his brother’s funeral. Another man’s brother comes home from jail. A young woman watches her sister embrace life and London while she is left behind. Two girls compete for the colour pink and their father’s love.
Trespass and abandonment, old secrets and new truths, rivalry and protection, love and fear: twelve of Australia’s best writers tell surprising stories of the abiding bonds—bad, beautiful or broken— between brothers and sisters.
CV: Charlotte Wood is an Australian fiction writer.
She is the editor of Brothers & Sisters, a collection of short stories and non-fiction about siblings by 12 of Australia’s finest writers.
Her most recent novel, The Children, was described byAustralian Book Review as “a graceful and empathetic portrayal of one family seeking to understand itself,” and The Australiandescribed Charlotte as “a captivating, questing writer whose work is well worth watching”.
The Children was shortlisted for the Australian Book Industry Association’s literary fiction book of the year. Charlotte’s previous novel, The Submerged Cathedral, was shortlisted for the Miles Franklin Award and the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize in its region 2005. Her first book, Pieces of a Girl, was also shortlisted for several prizes.
She writes a blog about cooking at www.howtoshuckanoyster.com. She lives in Sydney with her husband Sean and is working on her fourth novel.
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