Lost Generation: Women Writers in Postwar Australia. [abstract].

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Sheridan, Susan Margaret
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Australia, 1959: In Tasmania, poet Gwen Harwood starts sending out her poems under male pseudonyms, after several encounters with misogynist literary editors; Dorothy Hewett, silent for the previous decade, publishes "Bobbin Up", a successful novel in the social realist mode approved by the Communist Party (of which she was a member) but one that allowed little scope to her poetic gifts or her theatrical ambitions; Elizabeth Jolley arrives in Perth from England and begins to send out stories, but must wait until 1976 to publish a book. They are but three of the generation of women writers who were largely lost from view in the 1950s and 60s, and who are now in danger of being eclipsed in subsequent histories. In looking for answers to the question of why their early careers were so beset with difficulties, Professor Sheridan hopes at the same time to create a picture of the literary culture of the period that will be different because of the presence of women in it – and to offer accounts of these women’s writing lives that will expand our understanding of their art and its continuing significance.