Selected Prose of Dorothy Hewett

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UWA Publishing, 2011 - Literary Criticism - 282 pages
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Dorothy Hewett - a leading Australian literary figure - spent her childhood on a remote wheat and sheep farm in Wickepin, Western Australia. Her adult life, in Perth and Sydney, was involved in the tumult of politics and writing. Best known as a poet and playwright, she worked across genres with great ease, and, in the process, produced outstanding works of prose. Never fazed by her own diversity as a writer, Hewett produced twelve collections of poetry, three novels, an autobiography, thirteen plays, and many articles and short stories. Her impact on Australian writing was recognized when she was made a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for services to literature in 1986. This collection offers a stunning array of Dorothy Hewett's writings on literature, theatre, and politics. Selected Prose of Dorothy Hewett is both an engaging glimpse into Australian political history and activism, and an enlightening point of access to one of the great women writers.

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About the author (2011)

Dorothy Hewett was born on May 21, 1923 in Perth, Australia. She was an Australian feminist poet, novelist, and playwright. She was brought up on a sheep farm in Western Australia. In 1944 Hewett began studying English at the University of Western Australia (UWA). It was here that she joined the Communist Party in 1946. Also during her time at UWA she won a major drama competition and a national poetry competition. Hewett published her first novel, Bobbin Up, in 1959. The novel is regarded as an example of social realism. In 1967 Hewett's increasing disillusionment with Communist politics was evidenced by her collection Hidden Journey. In 1973 Hewett was awarded one of the first fellowships by the Australia Council. The organisation granted her several fellowships, and later awarded her a lifetime emeritus fellowship. During her life she wrote 15 plays, the most famous of which are: This Old Man Comes Rolling Home (1967), The Chapel Perilous (1972), and The Golden Oldies (1981). Several plays, such as The Man From Mukinupin (1979), were written in collaboration with Australian composer Jim Cotter. In 1975, she published a controversial collection of poems, Rapunzel in Suburbia. Virago Press. published the first volume of her autobiography, Wild Card, in 1990. The book dealt with her lifelong quest for sexual freedom and the negative responses she received. Two years later she published her second novel, The Toucher. In 1990 a painting of Hewett by artist Geoffrey Proud won the Archibald Prize, Australia's most prominent portrait prize. Dorothy Hewett passed away on August 25, 2002. In 2015 UWA Publishing in partnership with Copyright Agency and 720 ABC Perth, has launched a new award for an unpublished manuscript called the Dorothy Hewett Award. The award also stipulates that the manuscripts `should have a connection to Western Australia¿. The winner will receive a cash prize of $10,000 and a publishing contract with UWA Publishing.

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