Shortlist year: 2009

Shortlist category: Non-fiction

Published by: UWA Publishing

Elizabeth Jolley was a fine writer. Her publishing career began in her fifties in Australia, but as Brian Dibble demonstrates her writing developed through the decades in England and Scotland, from her family of origin, in boarding schools and hospital wards, and into her independent adult life.

The array of wild characters in her fiction—misfits and those on the edge of society—can also be found in the remarkable life of Elizabeth Jolley.

This is a lyrical and readable biography, one that presents a world of family and pleasures, but always infused somewhere with an unexpended sadness.

About the author

Brian Dibble

Brian Dibble, who in 1972 founded what is now Communication and Cultural Studies at Curtin University, is Curtin’s Emeritus Professor of Comparative Literature. He has published articles on Elizabeth Jolley’s work and written/edited a dozen books, including his own poetry and prose and two edited volumes of William Hart-Smith’s poetry.