Imatge de l'autor

Elizabeth Jolley (1923–2007)

Autor/a de The Well

30+ obres 1,895 Membres 46 Ressenyes 9 preferits

Sobre l'autor

Elizabeth Jolley was born Monica Elizabeth Knight in Birmingham, England on June 4, 1923. She was educated privately until age 11, when she was sent to Sibford School, a Quaker boarding school. At 17 she began training as nurse in London and was exposed firsthand to the horrors of World War II. She mostra'n més emigrated to Australia in 1959 with her husband and their three children. Before becoming a full-time author, she had numerous jobs including nursing, housecleaning, and farming. She published her first book of short stories, Five Acre Virgin and Other Stories, in 1976, and her first novel, Palomino, in 1980. Her other works included The Newspaper of Claremont Street, Mr. Scobie's Riddle, The Well, My Father's Moon, Miss Peabody's Inheritance, Foxybaby, and The Sugar Mother. She died on February 13, 2007 at the age of 83. (Bowker Author Biography) mostra'n menys

Inclou aquests noms: JOLLEY E, Jolley Elizabeth


Obres de Elizabeth Jolley

The Well (1986) 334 exemplars
Miss Peabody's Inheritance (1983) 153 exemplars
The Sugar Mother (1988) 140 exemplars
My Father's Moon (1989) 125 exemplars
Foxybaby (1985) 113 exemplars
The Newspaper of Claremont Street (1981) 102 exemplars
Mr. Scobie's Riddle (1983) 99 exemplars
Woman in a Lampshade (1983) 91 exemplars
Palomino (1980) 85 exemplars
The Georges' Wife (1993) 81 exemplars
Cabin Fever (1990) 79 exemplars
The Orchard Thieves (1995) 73 exemplars
Milk and Honey (1984) 71 exemplars
An Accommodating Spouse (1988) 70 exemplars
Lovesong (1997) 56 exemplars

Obres associades

Wayward Girls & Wicked Women: An Anthology of Subversive Stories (1986) — Col·laborador — 526 exemplars
Erotica: Women's Writing from Sappho to Margaret Atwood (1990) — Col·laborador — 168 exemplars
The Writer on Her Work, Volume II: New Essays in New Territory (1730) — Col·laborador — 124 exemplars
The Penguin Book of International Women's Stories (1996) — Col·laborador — 113 exemplars
Australian Gay and Lesbian Writing: An Anthology (1993) — Col·laborador — 57 exemplars
Literary Traveller: An Anthology of Contemporary Short Fiction (1994) — Col·laborador — 54 exemplars
The Virago Book of Such Devoted Sisters (1993) — Col·laborador — 44 exemplars
A Walk in My World: International Short Stories About Youth (1998) — Col·laborador — 35 exemplars
Mothers and Daughters: An Anthology (1998) — Col·laborador — 33 exemplars


Coneixement comú



In anticipation of the centenary of Elizabeth Jolley's death on June 4th, I read my Fremantle Arts Centre Press edition of Jolley's fifth novel, Milk and Honey.

First published in 1984, Milk and Honey is in some ways classic Jolley: it features a lonely character alienated from and yet trapped in the society around him; but the Gothic elements in this novel were a departure from her previous fiction.

Somehow, I was able to get behind the paywall at the ABR to find Stephanie Trigg's 1986 review of The Well, which makes reference to the common themes in Jolley's fiction.

Comparing Jolley with Helen Garner whose work is said by critics and reviews to be similarly confined to a domestic canvas, Triggs writes that Jolley’s pictures of domestic life are much wilder, more dramatic, and more violent. Murder, madness, sexual and psychological violence abound, and many Jolley narratives in their bare bones are quite alarming and bizarre. That is most certainly true of Milk and Honey, despite the Biblical allusion of its title to a 'promised land' of abundance and fertility. There are unexplained deaths, illnesses and disappearances, and a death which is not a death though the 'murderer' thinks it is. The central character's wife has a child but it's not his because he is impotent with her, though not with his lover who is herself infertile. The sterile marriage is offset by the birth of a child through incest.

The 'mad woman in the attic' is not a woman and is not mad either, but rather a grotesque caricature whose tragedy is that he has been denied a life because of his parents' fear of doctors. Reminiscent of the entrapment imposed by the destitute elderly Russian émigré, Nastasya, in The Newspaper of Claremont Street (1981, see my review) Waldemar both traps his family and is trapped by them because they refuse to hand him over to institutional care. Childlike Waldemar, dripping with the honey that he loves to eat, is the only character who represents fertility and abundance.

And the musical prodigy turns out to be really rather ordinary, fit only for a provincial orchestra and then not even that when his own violence disfigures his hands. This is not a story of resilience or triumph over adversity and there is little kindness in it.

In Brian Dibble's 2008 biography Doing Life (which I can't find on my shelves, did I lend it to someone?), Jolley's story begins with the enigmas of her own family life. As I wrote in my review, Jolley’s father bore his wife’s love for the enigmatic (and underfoot) Mr Berrington with fortitude, and this influenced Jolley’s interest in depicting sexual triangles.

To read the rest of my review please visit
… (més)
anzlitlovers | Hi ha 1 ressenya més | May 28, 2023 |
My second read by the wonderful Ms Jolley- and, as expected, it's weird, hilarious and unputdownable.
Miss Peabody is a sad old London spinster, her life devoted to a job in an office and caring for a sick mother. One day she writes to the Australian author of a novel she just enjoyed...and receives a reply.
The enthusiastic letters from the other side of the world include instalments of a story- an Australian boarding school headmistress, a couple of lesbian colleagues- one as much of a wet weekend as Miss Peabody- and a couple of the "gels" embark on a European tour
As the group hit London, Miss Peabody is so caught up in the story that she looks for them in the crowd...
Quite fabulous.
… (més)
starbox | Hi ha 1 ressenya més | Apr 9, 2022 |
Sometimes I get a huge surprise from a book! Found this buried on a shelf in a Street Library. I knew nothing about it, only recognising the author name. Once I started to read, I couldn't put it down. Beautifully written, great characters and a poignant story. This is a story about life, normal, everyday boring life full of people who have no importance to anyone, but it shines!
Fliss88 | Hi ha 1 ressenya més | Nov 6, 2021 |
This is one of the most peculiar books I've read in a long time...but it's absolutely brilliant. Halfway through I ordered more of her books... Puts me slightly in mind of Beryl Bainbridge.
Written in the third person, but told entirely from the perspective of old-for-his-age academic Edwin, the other characters remain somewhat unknowable. There's his younger wife- gynecologist Cecilia, who's off on a year-long posting to Canada. We never actually "meet" the wife...she crops up in phone conversations, and in Edwin's musings. Her ready laugh, the "swinging" scene, to which she has introduced the ..we sense unwilling...Edwin... And is there more than just comradeship with her fellow obstetrician, Frau Doktor Vorwickl?

To Edwin's door come locked-out neighbors, the uneducated and rather vulgar Mrs Bott and her plain, hefty yet grateful, undemanding and childlike daughter Leila. Once in, they soon take up residence....mother's cooking and daughter's fleshy charms work their way...gradually...into Edwin's heart. But meanwhile neighbour Daphne (friend to both Edwin and Cecelia) , not to mention the people from the swinging club, are prowling about. And Cecelia phones home, and will be back after a year..

It's both incredibly well-observed and funny, while - even in such surreal scenarios - confronting deeper questions about one's needs and desires.
… (més)
starbox | Hi ha 4 ressenyes més | May 22, 2021 |



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