'A world-proof life': Eleanor Dark - a writer in her times, 1901-1985
Eleanor Dark (1901-1985) is one of Australia's most celebrated writers of the inter-war years. Born with the twentieth century - a Federation Baby - she published ten novels, amongst them one of the best loved Australian stories of all time, The Timeless Land. Her life spanned successive global crises - two world wars, the economic depression of the 1930s, the Cold War - each issuing its own challenges to the artist and the people's writer she thought herself to be. By far the most privileged writer of her generation, her ultimate challenge was a personal one: to unlock the gates of her world-proof life to a society and a world in crisis.
The first cross-cultural biography of this famous Australian writer, Marivic Wyndham's rich and controversial portrait of Eleanor Dark is based on extensive research of the author's public and private lives. "As a Cuban-Australian woman, I wanted to ask Eleanor questions born of my own cross-cultural curiosities of the woman, the writer and the radical she was?" No other biographer has challenged feminist thinkers presenting women writers struggling against longer odds than men, nor Leftist views portraying radical writers as victims of a politically inhospitable society 'Dark was neither victim nor captive to any political ideology. But she was the prisoner - and architect - of her own world-proof life'.
"This eloquent and passionate biography resists familiar categories for Eleanor Dark, presenting her instead as a figure that questions the ways we understand the place of the writer, the feminist and the politically-engaged intellectual in a vital period of Australian history. Marivic Wyndham is both a critical biographer and a sharp observer of contexts and relationships, but, perhaps more important, she is a reflective writer whose unique perspective brings Dark into new significance."
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