Wood, Patricia 1953–
Wood, Patricia 1953–
Born May 23, 1953; married; husband's name Gordon; children: Andrew. Education: Attended the University of Hawaii and Northern Illinois University.
Writer. Worked variously as an educator, diver, sailor, and writer. Military service: U.S. Army.
Lottery (novel), Putnam (New York, NY), 2007.
Author of the blog Patricia Wood aboard SV Orion.
Patricia Wood is an American writer who has worked across a number of fields in her life. Aside from being in the U.S. Army, she has worked variously as an educator of marine sciences, a diver, a sailor, and a writer. She lives on a boat, based in Hawaii.
Wood published her first novel, Lottery, in 2007. The story is told from the perspective of Perry L. Crandall, a thirty-one-year-old man who has an IQ just one point higher than the mentally retarded ranking. Perry lives in a small coastal town in Washington state with his caretaker grandmother. His life changes dramatically within a short period when his grandmother dies and he subsequently wins the state lottery prize of twelve million dollars. Unknown family members come out of the woodwork and try to funnel money by feigning interest in him and manipulating his naive and trusting nature. This, in fact, comes just after they cheated him out of his grandmother's inheritance. When asked in a USA Today interview what she would do if she herself won the lottery, Wood stated: "This is a question many ask and entertain. I will say from personal experience it is not that simple—between taxes and predators—a lottery win can create havoc in someone's life. I would do nothing different as I have done winning the ‘publishing lottery.’ My normal [life] goes on as it did. I just have more opportunities to travel."
M.G. Tarquini, writing in Spinetingler Magazine, commented that the novel "is a story with heart. Perry's gentle manner, and matter-of-fact take on life commands attention." Tarquini added that readers would "remember him long after the story's stunning … resolution." In a Financial Times review, Jerome de Groot commented that "Perry's is charming company for most of the time." Catherine Taylor, writing in the London Guardian, stated: "Although imbued with humour and likeability, this tale is ultimately manipulative and sentimental." A contributor to Publishers Weekly remarked that "the wisdoms here run more cute than deep, but Wood's light humor and likable narrator should have mass appeal." Anna Richardson noted in a Bookseller article: "The central premise is not as far-fetched as some might think, considering that Wood's father himself won six million dollars … on the lottery a few years ago." A contributor to Kirkus Reviews wrote that "Wood does a good job of scene setting," but found that "the narrative voice is rather flat, and some of the developments are unrealistic." Overall, the critic concluded by calling the novel "a thought-provoking idea imperfectly executed." Amy Watts, writing in Library Journal, called the story's conclusion "satisfying." Watts described Perry's worldview as "so charming and fair," suggesting that "you might think he's the smartest character in the whole book."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Books, June 2, 2007, Kristin Kloberdanz, review of Lottery, p. 9.
Bookseller, January 19, 2007, "Lottery Win Inspires Debut Novel," p. 13; November 2, 2007, Anna Richardson, "Love and the Lottery," p. 22.
Financial Times, January 12, 2008, Jerome de Groot, review of Lottery.
Guardian (London, England), January 5, 2008, Catherine Taylor, review of Lottery.
Herald (Everett, WA), September 16, 2007, Julie Muhlstein, author profile.
Kirkus Reviews, June 15, 2007, review of Lottery.
Library Journal, August 1, 2007, Amy Watts, review of Lottery, p. 75.
Publishers Weekly, June 4, 2007, review of Lottery, p. 30.
USA Today, July 31, 2007, Ann Oldenburg, author interview.
BookPage,http://www.bookpage.com/ (February 22, 2008), Jay Macdonald, author interview.
Patricia Wood Home Page,http://www.patriciawoodauthor.com (February 22, 2008), author biography.
Spinetingler Magazine,http://www.spinetinglermag.com/ (February 22, 2008), M.G. Tarquini, review of Lottery.