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Charlotte Wood In Conversation

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Harry Hartog ANU

153/11 University Avenue

Australian National University

Canberra, ACT 2601

Australia

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Charlotte Wood will be In Conversation with Irma Gold about Charlotte's latest book The Weekend

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The brilliant new novel from award winning author Charlotte Wood, The Weekend was the subject of fierce competition from publishers in the US and the UK and will see major releases around the world in 2020.

This is a novel about friendship, growing older and the comforting lies we tell ourselves.

Jude, Wendy and Adele have been friends for decades. Now in their 70s, they reluctantly gather over a Christmas weekend to clean out the beach house of their friend Sylvie, who has just died. Sylvie was the thread keeping the four women together and without her, the others struggle to remember why they’ve remained friends all these years.

These feminist firebrands of their generation are now forced to acknowledge that the world has lost interest in them and their weekend together presents each woman with confronting new truths about who she is now.

The novel explores the questions that, if we’re lucky, all of us will face: exactly how should we grow old? How can we continue to find life interesting even as the things giving us identity and self-worth begin to fail us? Is it possible to retain any dignity at all in a culture so fearful of the spectre of age? If we become more acutely ourselves as we age, can we stay flexible and emotionally porous enough for real friendship? And how deeply buried are the lies we tell ourselves about who we’ve been, and who we are now?

Superbly written and excruciatingly funny, this jewel of a book is a celebration of tenderness and friendship. Readers of all ages will see themselves or their future selves in these sharply observed characters and ponder the confronting question:

Charlotte Wood is the author of six novels and two books of non-fiction. Her bestselling novel, The Natural Way of Things, won the 2016 Stella Prize, the Indie Book of the Year and Indie Book Award for Fiction, was joint winner of the Prime Minister's Literary Award for Fiction, and was published throughout Europe, the United Kingdom and North America. She has been twice shortlisted for the Miles Franklin Literary Award, as well as many others for this and previous works.

Irma Gold is a Canberra based award-winning author and editor. Her critically acclaimed debut collection of short fiction, Two Steps Forward, was selected from over 450 manuscripts to be published as the final in the Long Story Shorts series of six short fiction collections. Two Steps Forward was critically acclaimed and was shortlisted for or won a number of awards.

Her short fiction has been widely published in journals, including Meanjin, Island, Westerly, Review of Australian Fiction and Going Down Swinging, and in anthologies, including the tenth anniversary edition of Award Winning Australian Stories and Australian Love Stories, edited by Cate Kennedy.

Irma’s debut novel will be published in 2021. She is also the author of three children’s books, with another two due out in 2020 and 2021. Irma is Ambassador for the ACT Chief Minister’s Reading Challenge, Ambassador for the Save Elephant Foundation and is Convener of Editing at the University of Canberra. She is also the recipient of the award for Outstanding Service to Writing and Publishing in the ACT and Region.

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Harry Hartog ANU

153/11 University Avenue

Australian National University

Canberra, ACT 2601

Australia

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