'The paint itself is part of the painting's meaning; the words do not merely tell, but are the story...' -Charlotte WoodIn The Best Australian Stories 2016, Charlotte Wood, author of The Natural Way of Things (winner of the 2016 Stella Prize, and the 2016 Indie Book of the Year), presents twenty pieces of outstanding short fiction. Featuring the work of exciting new voices alongside stories by established favourites, this is a collection of great diversity. If it has a unifying thread, writes Wood, it might be her own preoccupation with 'the trio of ghosts, monsters and visitations'. Some emerge from the natural world, others from the inner lives of characters contemplating death and its aftermath. Other stories still are playful, experimental or poetic, and celebrate the colours of the human experience. Together they form an anthology of unusual power and resonance, which will surprise and delight in equal measure. Contributors include Paddy O'Reilly, Tegan Bennett Daylight, Gregory Day, Elizabeth Harrower, Ellen Van Neerven, Nasrin Mahoutchi, Jack Latimore, Brian Castro, Georgia Blain, Julie Koh, Trevor Shearston, Fiona McFarlane, Jennifer Down, Elizabeth Tan, Michael McGirr, Kate Ryan, James Bradley, Michelle Wright, David Brooks and Abigail Ulman. Charlotte Wood's latest novel, The Natural Way of Things, won the 2016 Stella Prize, the 2016 Indie Book of the Year, and the ABIA Reader's Choice Award. The Natural Way of Things and Charlotte's novel The Children have both been optioned for feature films.