Miriam Zolin reviews 'Animal People' by Charlotte Wood

Animal People 

by Charlotte Wood

Allen & Unwin, $29.99 pb, 264 pp, 9781742376851

Early in Charlotte Wood’s previous novel The Children (2007), one of Stephen Connolly’s sisters describes him as lost; she says he carries within him ‘a bedrock of resentment … never articulated and never resolved, but which has formed the foundation for his every conversation, every glance from his guarded eyes’. Readers may disagree with this harsh assessment as they read Wood’s new novel, Animal People, in which Stephen is the primary focus – this time more anxious than resentful. He is an inherently difficult character, but not a bad man. Wood unpacks him – sometimes ruthlessly – to reveal a person bewildered by the demands of all kinds of relationships.

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Miriam Zolin

Miriam Zolin

Miriam Zolin – writer, editor and publisher – is the force behind the National Jazz Writing Competition and independent micro-publisher extempore. She has a day job as well as postgraduate qualifications in Linguistics and Creative Writing from the University of Melbourne. Close to completing her second novel, Miriam was also steeped in Victorian history and silversmithing lore as a child, thanks to her parents.

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