As managing direction of the English publishing house, Chatto & Windus, expatriate Australian Carmen Callil has been described as the bête noire of Australian publishing. She had been invited to Australia for Writers Week at the Adelaide Festival. She left slightly annoyed and hurt that she had been cast in a predatory role when her interest in Australian writing stemmed from her own sense of Australianness.
Carmen left Australia in 1960 for Europe and ended up in England in 1967, working for Hutchinson. Different publishing jobs followed and in 1970 she decided to start her own publishing company, Virago Press, which was committed to publishing works by and/or about women. As well as publishing original works, Virago embarked on an ambitious program of reprinting ‘lost works’ by women writers. Many Australian writers have been included in this list – Dorothy Hewett, M. Barnard Eldershaw, Katherine Susannah Prichard, and Christina Stead are a few examples.