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Fiona Morrison

In spite of the hundreds of scholarly articles, dozens of monographs, and two biographies on the life and work of Christina Stead (1902–83), critics, curiously, have not generally sought to divide up Stead’s career into her Australian, European, and American periods for the purposes of their analysis. Most of them have regarded her career as more integrated, recognising the fact that Stead responded to all the places in which she lived and that her interest in the people around her drove her approach to her work, informed her settings, and nourished her understanding of ideology and its impact on human behaviour. In this compact study of five of Stead’s novels, Fiona Morrison seeks to explore Stead’s particular interest in American politics and culture and their specific influence on her writing.

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Best known for her poetry and plays, Dorothy Hewett was also the author of novels, short stories and numerous reviews, articles and lectures. An excellent Collected Poems (Fremantle Arts Centre Press, 1995), edited by William Grono, has been complemented by Selected Poems of Dorothy Hewett (2010). The highlight of Hewett’s prose writings as a whole is her brilliant autobiography, Wild Card (1990), in which she presents aspects of her tumultuous life story from 1923 to 1958. UWA Publishing will reissue this work in May 2012, a decade after her death. Hewett’s life and work cry out for a full-scale biography. Fiona Morrison’s Selected Prose of Dorothy Hewett fills some of the gaps in Hewett’s published record of articles, reviews, lectures, and journalism.

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Christina Stead is an author perennially ripe for rediscovery. Her acknowledged masterpiece, The Man Who Loved Children, came out originally in 1940; in 2005, it figured in Time’s list of the 100 best novels published since 1923. But in his introduction to the Miegunyah Modern Library edition of the novel, American novelist Jonathan Franzen cites ...