y Mermaid Singing single work   autobiography  
Mermaid Singing Issue Details: First known date: 1956... 1956
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Notes

  • Also published in braille and sound recording formats.

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

    • Indianapolis, Indiana,
      c
      United States of America (USA),
      c
      Americas,
      :
      Bobbs-Merrill ,
      ca. 1956 .
      Extent: 320p.
      Description: illus.
      Note/s:
      • Illustrated by Cedric Flower.
    • London,
      c
      England,
      c
      c
      United Kingdom (UK),
      c
      Western Europe, Europe,
      :
      Michael Joseph ,
      1956 .
      Extent: 254p.
      Description: illus.
      Reprinted: 1958
      Note/s:
      • Illustrated by Cedric Flower.
    • Sydney, New South Wales,: Horwitz , 1970 .
      Extent: 254p.
      Description: illus.
      Note/s:
      • Illustrated by Cedric Flower.
      ISBN: 072550000X
    • Sydney, New South Wales,: Imprint , 1988 .
      Extent: 216p.
      Description: illus.
      ISBN: 0732224195 (pbk.)
    • Pymble, Turramurra - Pymble - St Ives area, Sydney Northern Suburbs, Sydney, New South Wales,: Angus and Robertson , 1989 .
      Extent: 216p.
      Description: illus., [1]p. of plates.
      Reprinted: 1992
      ISBN: 0207166706 (pbk.)
  • Appears in:
    y Mermaid Singing [and] Peel Me a Lotus Charmian Clift , Pymble : HarperCollins , 2001 Z895247 2001 selected work novel

    'For Charmian Clift, Greece was the Promised Land. In 1954 she and her husband, George Johnston, abandoned their sophisticated London existence and set off with two new typewriters and two small children to start a new life.

    'In Mermaid Singing - written during the first miraculous year of discovery - she records the family's adaptation to the primitive sponge-diving island of Kalymnos.

    'Peel Me a Lotus continues the exploration as Clift and Johnson buy a house on the island of Hydra, in the middle of the summer tourist trail. Clift's writing about Greece was undervalued at the time of first publication, because she wrote from a women's point of view and recorded the intimate details of daily life. It is exactly this quality which enables this classic to appeal to a new generation of readers.' (Publication summary)

    Pymble : HarperCollins , 2001

Works about this Work

Charmain Clift and George Johnston, Hydra 1960 : The 'Lost' Photographs of James Burke Paul Genoni , Tanya Dalziell , 2014 single work criticism
— Appears in: Meanjin , vol. 73 no. 1 2014; (p. 18-37)

'In one of her many essays, Charmian Clift writes of the melancholic experience of feeling like a photograph. She has been asked to address a group of students at Wollongong High School, a school she had attended, and in preparing her speech she turns to a photograph that appears in the school's fiftieth-anniversary commemorative booklet. The photograph depicts a class from Clift's time at the school, 'formally posed with the boys lined up behind the girls and their hands resting on the girls' shoulders' ('On Turning slightly Sepia', p. 48 (see References below)), and as photographs do it evokes in Clift's memory small details that are not evidenced in the image itself: 'I can still see one of those girls arched in a perfect swallow dive, and remember precisely a collar of little pearl buttons on a blue crepe dress that another of them wore to an end-of-term dance that year'(48). The photograph also prompts Clift to consider how different her teenage circumstances were from those of the students she is to speak to, their faces shining with the confidence that faith in the goodness of the future affords. Before those faces now momentarily turned to her, she thinks of herself as the past, and wonders, 'if they realized that standing up before them I knew myself to be curling at the edges and turning slightly sepia' (51).' (Publication abstract)

Loving Europe : Peel Me a Lotus and Australian Women Writing Travel Susan Carson , 2013 single work criticism
— Appears in: Telling Stories : Australian Life and Literature 1935–2012 2013; (p. 217-224)
Charmain Clift Kay Saunders , 2011 single work biography
— Appears in: Notorious Australian Women 2011; (p. 232-245)
Clift's Gifts: Rich Imagery and Sharp Observation Rosemary Wighton , 1992 single work review
— Appears in: The Weekend Australian , 11-12 July 1992; (p. rev 6)

— Review of Images in Aspic Charmian Clift 1965 selected work prose ; Honour's Mimic Charmian Clift 1964 single work novel ; Mermaid Singing Charmian Clift 1956 single work autobiography ; The Sponge Divers Charmian Clift George Johnston 1955 single work novel
Revisiting the Worlds of Charmian Clift Ian McFarlane , 1992 single work review
— Appears in: The Canberra Times , 4 July 1992; (p. C9)

— Review of Peel Me a Lotus Charmian Clift 1959 single work autobiography ; Honour's Mimic Charmian Clift 1964 single work novel ; Mermaid Singing Charmian Clift 1956 single work autobiography ; The Sponge Divers Charmian Clift George Johnston 1955 single work novel ; Images in Aspic Charmian Clift 1965 selected work prose
Revisiting the Worlds of Charmian Clift Ian McFarlane , 1992 single work review
— Appears in: The Canberra Times , 4 July 1992; (p. C9)

— Review of Peel Me a Lotus Charmian Clift 1959 single work autobiography ; Honour's Mimic Charmian Clift 1964 single work novel ; Mermaid Singing Charmian Clift 1956 single work autobiography ; The Sponge Divers Charmian Clift George Johnston 1955 single work novel ; Images in Aspic Charmian Clift 1965 selected work prose
Clift's Gifts: Rich Imagery and Sharp Observation Rosemary Wighton , 1992 single work review
— Appears in: The Weekend Australian , 11-12 July 1992; (p. rev 6)

— Review of Images in Aspic Charmian Clift 1965 selected work prose ; Honour's Mimic Charmian Clift 1964 single work novel ; Mermaid Singing Charmian Clift 1956 single work autobiography ; The Sponge Divers Charmian Clift George Johnston 1955 single work novel
Away from It All 1958 single work review
— Appears in: The Bulletin , 2 April vol. 79 no. 4077 1958; (p. 58)

— Review of Mermaid Singing Charmian Clift 1956 single work autobiography
Charmain Clift Kay Saunders , 2011 single work biography
— Appears in: Notorious Australian Women 2011; (p. 232-245)
A Paperback Renaissance Kate Ahearne , 1988 single work criticism
— Appears in: Australian Book Review , July no. 102 1988; (p. 30-32)
Mermaid Singing i "A creative life on islands Greek,", Carl Ruhen , 1983 single work poetry satire
— Appears in: Oz Shrink Lit. 1983; (p. 57)
Loving Europe : Peel Me a Lotus and Australian Women Writing Travel Susan Carson , 2013 single work criticism
— Appears in: Telling Stories : Australian Life and Literature 1935–2012 2013; (p. 217-224)
Charmain Clift and George Johnston, Hydra 1960 : The 'Lost' Photographs of James Burke Paul Genoni , Tanya Dalziell , 2014 single work criticism
— Appears in: Meanjin , vol. 73 no. 1 2014; (p. 18-37)

'In one of her many essays, Charmian Clift writes of the melancholic experience of feeling like a photograph. She has been asked to address a group of students at Wollongong High School, a school she had attended, and in preparing her speech she turns to a photograph that appears in the school's fiftieth-anniversary commemorative booklet. The photograph depicts a class from Clift's time at the school, 'formally posed with the boys lined up behind the girls and their hands resting on the girls' shoulders' ('On Turning slightly Sepia', p. 48 (see References below)), and as photographs do it evokes in Clift's memory small details that are not evidenced in the image itself: 'I can still see one of those girls arched in a perfect swallow dive, and remember precisely a collar of little pearl buttons on a blue crepe dress that another of them wore to an end-of-term dance that year'(48). The photograph also prompts Clift to consider how different her teenage circumstances were from those of the students she is to speak to, their faces shining with the confidence that faith in the goodness of the future affords. Before those faces now momentarily turned to her, she thinks of herself as the past, and wonders, 'if they realized that standing up before them I knew myself to be curling at the edges and turning slightly sepia' (51).' (Publication abstract)

Last amended 1 May 2007 12:09:23
Subjects:
  • Greek islands,
    c
    Greece,
    c
    Western Europe, Europe,
  • Kalymnos, Greek islands,
    c
    Greece,
    c
    Western Europe, Europe,
  • 1950s
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