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Portrait of Charlotte Wood.
Charlotte Wood. Photo: Wendy McDougall

Charlotte Wood is the author of five novels, including The Natural Way of Things, winner of the 2016 Stella Prize, Indie Book of the Year, and shortlisted for the 2016 Miles Franklin award.

Her three works of non-fiction include The Writer's Room: Conversations about Writing.

Charlotte shared objects that shaped her life, including an early typewriter, in issue ten of The Museum magazine.


Antique typewriter with faded logo of L.C. Smith & Brothers. - click to view larger image
LC Smith & Bros typewriter used by Australian poet Mary Gilmore

‘My mother saw before I did what my life was going to be about. I was still at school, maybe Year 10, when she pushed me off to an evening typing class. I violently resisted and she vehemently made sure I went.

When I think about it now it made sense: I was one of those kids with their nose in a book at all times. But I didn’t know that I was going to make my life out of writing.

I can’t remember if the typewriter I learned on was electric or not, but I’m sure that the one that I used when I got my first job at the Cooma-Monaro Express was definitely not electric. It was a million years old.

There is a certain pressure on the keys of a typewriter that makes it a very tactile instrument. There’s that nice clacking noise and that progress across the page and the satisfying violence of the slinging back of the carriage.

I have no idea what kind of typewriter I learnt on but I remember feeling quite small in the face of this giant machine.’

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