Elizabeth Jolley (1923-2007)

The news has been released this morning that Western Australian author Elizabeth Jolley died last week at the age of 83.

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 was one of Australia's most acclaimed and beloved authors, and was awarded an honorary doctorate (Hon. D. Tech.) from the Western Australia Institute of Technology (now Curtin University) and an order of Australia Medal.

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on February 20, 2007 9:25 AM.

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