Issue Details: First known date: 2015 2015
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'In his study of the short story, The Lonely Voice (1962), Frank O’Connor argues that a defining feature of the genre is what he calls ‘submerged population groups’. ‘It may be Gogol’s officials’, he writes, ‘Turgenev’s serfs, Maupassant’s prostitutes, Chekhov’s doctors and teachers, Sherwood Anderson’s provincials, always dreaming of escape’. If, in his short stories, John Morrison’s characters are a particular class of ‘submerged’ people, it is due to the labours of work and material hardship — to ‘battling’. These are his principal themes, as well as the consoling virtue of working-class solidarity, informed by his socialist convictions. They derive from the fact that Morrison discovered his subject in his breadwinning life as a waterfront worker, a jobbing gardener, and a rouseabout, occupations which became the social settings of his stories. Highly regarded as a short story writer who bridged the gap between Henry Lawson and post-1960s Australian fiction, by the time of his death in 1998 John Morrison had eight story collections to his name, two novels, a collection of essays, and a collection of autobiographical pieces. In 1963 he was awarded the Gold Medal of the Australian Literature Society. In 1986 he received the Patrick White Literary Award and in 1989, the Order of Australia. Today, all his books are out of print and his name has fallen into neglect.' (Author's introduction)

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Last amended 19 Aug 2015 07:40:43
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