Sumner   Sumner Locke Elliott (1917-91)

Brief Biography

Sumner Locke Elliott was born in Sydney in 1917, the son of the writer Sumner Locke and the freelance journalist Henry Logan Elliott. His mother died soon after his birth and he was raised by several aunts. This resulted in a fierce custody battle which was only resolved when he was about 10.

After leaving school he became an actor and a writer with the Independent Theatre which produced seven of his plays. During the Second World War Elliott served with the Australian Army. In 1948 he left Australia for the United States where he worked as a televison writer for both CBS and NBC. He took US citizenship in 1955. Elliott did not return to Australia for any length of stay until 1974.

Careful, He Might Hear You won the Miles Franklin Award in 1963, and Elliott was awarded the Patrick White Literary Award in 1977.

Sumner Locke Elliott died in 1991.


Careful, He Might Hear You 1963
Some Doves and Pythons 1966
Edens Lost 1969
The Man Who Got Away 1972
Going 1975
Water Under the Bridge 1977
Rusty Bugles 1980
Signs of Life 1981
About Tilly Beamis 1985
Waiting for Childhood 1987
Fairyland 1990

Short Stories
Radio Days 1993

Interval 1939
The Cow Jumped Over the Moon 1939
The Little Sheep Run Fast 1940
Goodbye to the Music 1942
Your Obedient Servant 1943
The Invisible Circus 1946
Rusty Bugles 1948
Buy Me Blue Ribbons 1951
John Murray Anderson's Almanac 1953

Film Adaptations
Careful, He Might Hear You was filmed in 1983. It was directed by Carl Schultz from a screenplay by Michael Jenkins, and featured Wendy Hughes, Robyn Nevin, and John Hargreaves, with Nicholas Gledhill as P.S.
Edens Lost was adapted for television in 1988 by Michael Gow. It was directed by Neil Armfield and featured Julia Blake, Linda Cropper and Victoria Longley.

This page and its contents are copyright © 1998-2008 by Perry Middlemiss, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.

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Last modified: March 27, 2008.