Laura will be in conversation with Emma Ashmere and Jo Case on 24 September at Readings. Book now

Ordinary Matter

Cover image of Ordinary Matter by Laura Elvery collage of images related to Nobel Prize-winning science
Coming September 2020

Inspired by the twenty times women have won Nobel Prizes for science, Ordinary Matter is Laura’s second short story collection.

Pre-order now

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.

Elegant, wise and humming with insight – this sublime collection proves that Elvery is in a class of her own. Toni Jordan
These stories gently and beautifully track the outward ripples of these women’s scientific achievements, through the years and across decades. An experimental and literary triumph. Ceridwen Dovey
A beautifully crafted and moving collection of stories about women who change history while struggling against its constraints. Abigail Ulman
Daring, whole-hearted and wickedly funny, each story in Elvery’s Ordinary Matter expertly reveals an entire world – of love, hurt, healing; of ambition, discovery, and revenge. An utterly luminous collection from one of the country’s most original voices. Brooke Davis