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'How remarkable that, after some 40 years of books and essays, stories, articles and movies, there have been so few major publications on the life and works of Helen Garner. The National Library of Australia catalogue lists discussion notes; a study (in Mandarin) by Zhu Xiaoying; and Kerryn Goldsworthy’s excellent 1996 monograph. Bernadette Brennan’s A Writing Life goes a considerable way to filling out this slender collection' (Introduction)
'When she died in 2002, The Age hailed Dorothy Hewett as “the grande dame of Australian literature” and gave a thumbnail sketch of her remarkable life as poet, dramatist, novelist, Communist Party activist and serial lover. Calling her a free spirit doesn’t come close to capturing the turbulent, at times self-destructive energy that marked Hewitt’s relationships and her work.' (Introduction)