Ordinary Matter (Laura Elvery, UQP)
Award-winning Brisbane author Laura Elvery (Trick of the Light) now brings us Ordinary Matter, a short story collection inspired by the 20 times women have won the Nobel Prize for science since 1901. In Ordinary Matter, a woman desperate to conceive finds an abandoned baby on a Queensland beach; a young girl dreams of soaring above the clouds over Launceston; a woman struggles for recognition for her work. In stories that span a century, and which explore the nuances of motherhood, legacy, ambition and identity, Ordinary Matter is a quiet testament to the oft-understated and yet undeniable power of women. Elvery has appropriately imbued these gentle, elegant stories with a poignant sense of loneliness, profoundly yet subtly exploring the relationship of the women who inspired them to science, history and art. Elvery’s stories are luminescent, sensitive and insightful but far from overbearing. Her story introductions and reader’s notes are an invitation for further exploration for those whose interest is suitably piqued. Ordinary Matter is a skilful depiction of how the extraordinary can be found in the ordinary.
Georgia Brough is a writer based in Melbourne.