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Melinda J Cooper

In recent years there has been a resurgence of interest in Eleanor Dark (1901–85), which singles her out from the group of women who dominated the Australian literary scene in the 1930s and 1940s, and attends to the literary significance as well as the political and historical contexts of her work. While Miles Franklin and Katharine Susannah Prichard have been the subject of massive biographies, there have been no major critical studies of their writing. Their contemporaries such as Nettie Palmer, Jean Devanny, M. Barnard Eldershaw, and Dymphna Cusack have fallen out of sight. But since the publication of Eleanor Dark: A writer’s life by Barbara Brooks in 1998, there has been a steady stream of essays and book chapters, a special issue of the journal Hecate, a second biography, and now a critical monograph on the work of this novelist.

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