After much anticipation, Southerly is finally able, and delighted to, invite you to the launch for its latest issue, 72.1: Mid-century women writers. There will be fabulous readings, delicious nibbles, and bohemian bonfemie. Please join us!
Mid-century women writers re-considers Australian women writing after the cataclysm of World War II, from within post-war culture; women demonstrating the agency of writing fiction before the formal politicisation of feminism. This issue assembles essays on numerous of these writers, presented in their shared historical context and through the rubrics and perspectives of the present. The issue includes essays on Eleanor Dark, Eve Langley, Jessica Anderson, Christina Stead, Dorothy Hewett, Thea Astley and Elizabeth Harrower. Some of the essays deal with the late works of established writers, such as Helen O’Reilly’s discussion of Eleanor Dark’s last published work, Lantana Lane and Elizabeth Treep’s analysis of Eve Langley’s unpublished novel Bancroft House, while Karen Lamb’s essay on Thea Astley provides a keen appreciation of a new woman writer dealing with the criticism of her peers.
The essays range from readings of individual works to broader assessments of writer’s oeuvre, and from historical fiction to novels depicting the radical changes in Australian life from the 1960’s. There are also two review-essays on new studies of Elizabeth Jolley and Shirley Hazzard. This line-up constitutes a very significant volume on a group of writers often overlooked in the various categorisations of Australian literature.
The issue also contains a wealth of new creative work in fiction and poetry from prestigious authors and poets alongside emerging writers, and a fascinating account of a large-scale performance art event in western Sydney.