Elizabeth Jolley photo   Elizabeth Jolley

Brief Biography

Elizabeth Jolley was born in Birmingham, England, in 1923 and brought up in a German-speaking household. She undertook her early education in the English Midlands both at home and at a Quaker boarding school. She stayed there until the age of 17 when she began nursing studies in London at the height of World War II. Married, with three children, she migrated to Western Australia in 1959, and worked in a variety of jobs until she took a job as a part-time creative writing tutor at the Fremantle Arts Centre in 1974. She taught there until 1985, and also taught at a number of tertiary institutions, including Curtin University.

Although she started writing early in life it was not until her fifties that she received the recognition her talent deserved. She won The Age Book of the Year Award on three occasions (for Mr Scobie's Riddle, My Father's Moon, and The Georges' Wife) as well as the Miles Franklin Award for The Well. Her non-fiction title, Central Mischief, won the Western Australian Premier's Prize in 1993. Mr Scobie's Riddle won the Fiction section of the WA Premier's Prize in 1983.

Elizabeth Jolley is one of Australia's most acclaimed authors and has been awarded an honorary doctorate (Hon. D. Tech.) from the Western Australia Institute of Technology (now Curtin University) and an order of Australia Medal.

Elizabeth Jolley died in 2007.


Palomino 1980
The Newspaper of Claremont Street 1981
Miss Peabody's Inheritance 1983
Mr Scobie's Riddle 1983
Milk and Honey 1984
Foxybaby 1985
The Well 1986
The Sugar Mother 1988
My Father's Moon 1989
Cabin Fever 1990
The Georges' Wife 1993
The Orchard Thieves 1995
Lovesong 1997
An Accommodating Spouse 1999
An Innocent Gentleman 2001

Short Story Collections
Five Acre Virgin 1976
The Travelling Entertainer 1979
Woman in a Lampshade 1983
Stories 1984 - contains all the stories from Five Acre Virgin and The Travelling Entertainer
Fellow Passengers: Collected Stories of Elizabeth Jolley - edited and introduced by Barbara Milech, 1997

Night Report 1975
The Performance 1976
The Shepherd on the Roof 1977
The Well-Bred Thief 1977
Woman in a Lampshade 1979
Two Men Running 1981
Paper Children 1988
Little Lewis Has Had a Lovely Sleep 1988
Off the Air: Nine Plays for Radio edited and introduced by Delys Bird, 1995

Central Mischief 1992 - edited by Caroline Lurie
Diary of a Weekend Farmer 1993

Critical Appraisals
Elizabeth Jolley: New Critical Essays 1991, edited by Delys Bird and Brenda Walker

Other Web Pages
The Ozlit literature site contains an extensive Elizabeth Jolley web page which is worth while checking out.

This page and its contents are copyright © 1996-2007 by Perry Middlemiss, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.

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Last modified: February 20, 2007.