Animal love tale a winner

Animal People, a novel exploring human-animal relationships, has won PhD student and author, Charlotte Wood, a spot on the Miles Franklin Literary Award long-list.

Charlotte Wood 2011

Canny and forgiving observer - PhD student, Charlotte Wood

Animal People, a novel exploring human-animal relationships, has secured PhD student and author, Charlotte Wood, a spot on the 2012 Miles Franklin Literary Award long-list with 12 other Australian authors.

Wood describes her novel as a “reverse urban love story” that has as one of its themes the contradictions in human relationships with animals.

This is not the first time Wood has been in the running for Australia’s most prestigious literary award. Her second novel, The Submerged Cathedral, was shortlisted for the Miles Franklin in 2005.

“I am thrilled to be sharing the long-list with some of the country’s finest writers,” she said.

Dr Anne Brewster in the School of the Arts and Media said she is honoured to be supervising Wood’s PhD.

“Charlotte is a major Australian writer whose fiction has explored many important aspects of contemporary Australian life, including the question of how we can live an ethical life,” said Dr Brewster. “She is a canny and forgiving observer of Australian suburbia, with a wry sense of humour.”

Wood's first novel, Pieces of a Girl, published in 1999, won the 1998 Jim Hamilton Award for an unpublished manuscript. Her second novel, The Submerged Cathedral (2004), was shortlisted for the 2005 Commonwealth Writers' Prize, SE Asia/South Pacific, along with the Miles Franklin. Her third novel, The Children, was a bestseller.

Wood said she is looking forward to the benefits of writing in a university environment.

“I’m hoping to build a bit more intellectual muscle into my fiction and share the process with committed individuals," she said. “It’s nice being in a place where the purpose of your whole existence is to think.”

The Miles Franklin Award shortlist will be announced on May 3 at the State Library of NSW.

Media contact: Fran Strachan | 9385 8732 | 0429 416 070