Exiles At Home traces the lives of a generation of Australia's women writers through letters, diaries, notebooks and the memories of their contemporaries. 'Invaluable to all readers seriously interested in the history of Australian literature.' - Weekend Australian At the end of the 1920s Christina Stead had left Australia and was poised to write Seven Poor Men of Sydney.
In London Miles Franklin was producing her first Brent of Bin Bin book and would soon return to Australia. Katharine Susannah Prichard was enlarging her view of black and white in outback Australia, and the team writing under the name M. Barnard Eldershaw had published its first novel and won the Bulletin prize. Gathering these writers into a network by her support and criticism was the influential Nettie Palmer. In the mid-1930s these women and other writers such as Eleanor Dark, Jean Devanny, Dymphna Cusack and Betty Roland faced the impact of fascism and another war. The platform and the writing desk had different and often conflicting appeals; and the Depression underlined the already precarious existence of the woman writer.
This immensely readable work by one of Australia's most respected writers of today is a fascinating insight into the lives of these significant literary figures, and into the creative process itself. 'It is a great pleasure to read, to follow her skilful and discerning negotiations between the writers' views of themselves and each other, and the questions which she brings to them from the present day, questions 'about writing, about cultural and ideological struggle, about feminism and fiction, about the contradictions of class and gender'. As the first ever book-length study of Australian women writers, Exiles at Home sets a high standard.' - Meanjin
About the Author
Drusilla Modjeska was born in England and lived in Papua New Guinea before arriving in Australia in 1971. She studied at the Australian National University and the University of New South Wales completing a PhD which was published as Exiles at Home: Australian Women Writers 1925-1945 (1981).
Modjeska's writing often explores the boundaries between fiction and non-fiction. The best known of her work are Poppy (1990), a fictionalised biography of her mother, and Stravinsky's Lunch (2001), a feminist reappraisal of the lives and work of Australian painters Stella Bowen and Grace Cossington Smith. She has also edited several volumes of stories, poems and essays, including the work of Lesbia Harford and a 'Focus on Papua New Guinea' issue for the literary magazine Meanjin.
In 2006 she was a Senior Research Fellow at the University of Sydney, "investigating the interplay of race, gender and the arts in post-colonial Papua New Guinea"