By Charlotte Wood
Charlotte wooden has been defined as 'one of the main clever and compassionate novelists in Australia' (The Age), and 'one of our best and such a lot chameleonic writers' (The Australian). Her most up-to-date paintings, Love & starvation: techniques at the present of meals, is a e-book of contemplations on cooking. Her fourth novel, Animal humans, used to be published in past due 2011 to serious acclaim and was once long-listed for the Miles Franklin Literary Award. Her previous novels, the bestseller the youngsters, The Submerged Cathedral and items of a woman have been shortlisted for varied prize together with the Miles Franklin Award and nearby Commonwealth Writers' Prize.
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Victoria poised prettily between Goodfellow and Bongo-Shaftsbury, attempting to maintain a kind of flirtatious equilibrium. On the face of it, all normal. Rivalry for the young lady's attentions between the two, Mildred a younger sister, Porpentine perhaps a personal secretary; for Goodfellow did have the affluent look. But beneath? He came to the awareness reluctantly. In Baedeker land one doesn't often run across impostors. Duplicity is against the law, it is being a Bad Fellow. But they were only posing as tourists.
A false and bastard city; inert - for "them" - as Aieul himself. He watched the sun darken and wind flutter the leaves of acacias round Place Mohammed Ali. In the distance a name was being bellowed: Porpentine, Porpentine. It whined in the square's hollow reaches like a voice from childhood. Another fat Englishman, fair-haired, florid - didn't all Northerners look alike? - had been striding down rue Cherif Pacha in a dress suit and a pith helmet two sizes too large. Approaching Aieul's customer, he began blithering rapidly in English from twenty yards out.
But beneath? He came to the awareness reluctantly. In Baedeker land one doesn't often run across impostors. Duplicity is against the law, it is being a Bad Fellow. But they were only posing as tourists. Playing a game different from Max's; and it frightened him. Talk at the table stopped. The faces of the three men lost whatever marks of specific passion they had held. The cause was approaching their table: an unremarkable figure wearing a cape and blue eyeglasses. "Hullo Lepsius," said Goodfellow.
Animal People by Charlotte Wood