Weidenfeld to publish Stella Prize winner Charlotte Wood

Claire Coughlan
Rights - Fiction Tuesday, 05 March 2019

The Weekend is 'literary fiction with huge appeal, Liane Moriarty's Big Little Lies as written by Alice Munro'

Weidenfeld has signed a novel by Charlotte Wood, "one of Australia's leading voices". Federico Andornino, commissioning editor, has bought UK and Commonwealth rights (excluding Australia, New Zealand and Canada) to The Weekend, at an auction conducted by Veronique Baxter at David Higham on behalf of Jenny Darling & Associates. North American rights were pre-empted by Sarah McGrath, vp and editor in chief at Riverhead.

The Weekend (summer 2020) is set over "three scorching hot days in a house overlooking the ocean", and is a "raw and powerful novel of friendship and betrayal".

Wood is the author of five novels and two books of non-fiction. Her novel The Natural Way of Things (published by Allen & Unwin) won the 2016 Stella Prize, the 2016 Australia Indie Book of the Year and Novel of the Year, and was joint winner of the Australian Prime Minister's Literary Award for Fiction.

Andornino said: "The Weekend is literary fiction with huge appeal, Liane Moriarty's Big Little Lies as written by Alice Munro, and Charlotte Wood is a complete genius. She explores the lives of older women in a way that's rarely seen in contemporary fiction: these are people who have been discarded by society, by their colleagues, even by their loved ones, betrayed by their failing bodies, treated with contempt, constantly patronised. And yet they are fierce and full of life, and readers will find it impossible to look away."

Wood said: "I wanted to write a book about ageing that was about the present and the future, peopled by fully rounded adults with power and agency. Out of this desire grew my characters Adele, Jude and Wendy: no frail old ladies but feminist firebrands of their generation. The Weekend explores ideas of friendship and growing old. How can we continue to find life interesting? How do we retain any dignity in a culture that so despises ageing women? And if we become more and more solidly ourselves as we age, what does this mean for friendship? I'm so delighted that Federico and W&N find these questions as urgent as I do, and that they'll be guiding The Weekend into the world."

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