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Ordinary Matter

Inspired by the twenty times women have won Nobel Prizes for science, this short-story collection from award-winning writer Laura Elvery is a dazzling, thought-provoking follow-up to Trick of the Light.

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In 1895 Alfred Nobel rewrote his will and left his fortune made in dynamite and munitions to generations of thinkers. Since 1901 women have been honoured with Nobel Prizes for their scientific research twenty times, including Marie Curie twice.

Spanning more than a century and ranging across the world, this inventive story collection is inspired by these women whose work has altered history and saved millions of lives. From a transformative visit to the Grand Canyon to a baby washing up on a Queensland beach, a climate protest during a Paris heatwave to Stockholm on the eve of the 1977 Nobel Prize ceremony, these stories interrogate the nature of inspiration and discovery, motherhood and sacrifice, illness and legacy. Sometimes the extraordinary pivots on the ordinary.

Laura Elvery
Photo by Trenton Porter

Laura Elvery

Laura Elvery is a writer from Brisbane. She has a PhD in Creative Writing and Literary Studies. Her work has been published in Overland, Griffith Review, Meanjin, Kill Your Darlings and The Big Issue fiction edition. She has won the Josephine Ulrick Prize for Literature, the Margaret River Short Story Competition, the Neilma Sidney Short Story Prize and the Fair Australia Prize for Fiction. In 2018 Laura’s first collection of short stories, Trick of the Light, was a finalist in the Queensland Literary Awards. Laura's latest short story collection, Ordinary Matter, was shortlisted for the 2021 USQ Steele Rudd Award for a Short Story Collection and the Queensland Premier's Award for a work of State Significance.