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y separately published work icon Frank Moorhouse : A Life single work   biography  
Issue Details: First known date: 2023... 2023 Frank Moorhouse : A Life
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'The definitive biography of one of Australia's best-known men of letters.

'Many writers fashion a career out of their writing. Some fashion brilliant careers. Very few, however, commit to their art in a manner that inflects every aspect of their own daily life. Frank Moorhouse was one of the rare writers who actively chose to live a life that was as grounded in conscious aesthetic and ethical choices as was his writing.

'A decade before his death in 2022, Frank Moorhouse asked renowned journalist, writer and academic Catharine Lumby to be his biographer. This was an inspired choice, influenced by their decades of friendship and by Lumby's close engagement with, and appreciation for, Moorhouse's writing. She 'got' him and his work, he said, in a way few others did.

'Frank Moorhouse was one of Australia's best-known and most-loved authors, here and around the world. His career spanned the genres of the novel, the short story, the essay, the memoir, the erotic novella, the screenplay and the historical monograph. He even invented a literary form: the discontinuous narrative. Moorhouse was also one of the country's foremost public intellectuals, his contribution to Australian cultural, social and political life was prolific, erudite and astoundingly broad. Throughout his career he moved between the roles of activist, author, advocate and scholar. His interests ranged across intimate relationships, social mores, history, politics, international law, foreign policy, intellectual property and censorship.

'On all these subjects, he wrote and spoke with distinctive elegance, wit and perception.

'Given Moorhouse's impact on literature and public intellectual life, it is astonishing that this is the first literary biography of a man recognised as one of our most important writers and thinkers. In this fascinating and crucial work, Catharine Lumby threads the intellectual and aesthetic aspects of Moorhouse's literary, personal and political life into a sparkling dialogue, highlighting the depth of his impact on Australian literature and culture.' (Publication summary)

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

    • Crows Nest, North Sydney - Lane Cove area, Sydney Northern Suburbs, Sydney, New South Wales,: Allen and Unwin , 2023 .
      image of person or book cover 1612539872227154081.jpg
      Image courtesy of publisher's website.
      Extent: 304p.
      Note/s:
      •  Published 29 August 2023

      ISBN: 9781742372242

Other Formats

  • Large print.
  • Braille.

Works about this Work

Writing Life Susan Lever , 2024 single work review
— Appears in: Inside Story , January 2024;

— Review of Frank Moorhouse : A Life Catharine Lumby , 2023 single work biography

'It’s only a few months since I recommended Catharine Lumby’s lively biography of Frank Moorhouse to readers of Inside Story. Her Frank Moorhouse: A Life is a warm tribute to its subject as a social force, with photographs and an index for those eager to check out mutual contacts, though it gives little attention to Moorhouse’s fiction.' (Introduction)

Frank Moorhouse : Two Biographies Reckon with a Literary Life and Legacy Nigel Featherstone , 2023 single work review
— Appears in: The Guardian Australia , 20 December 2023;

— Review of Frank Moorhouse : A Life Catharine Lumby , 2023 single work biography ; Frank Moorhouse : Strange Paths Matthew Lamb , 2023 single work biography
'Eighteen months after the Australian writer’s death, his early work, activism and personal life are revealed in two complementary titles'
To Be Frank: In Conversation with Catharine Lumby Barry Gittins (interviewer), 2023 single work interview
— Appears in: Eureka Street , 13 November vol. 33 no. 22 2023;

'Catharine Lumby was a friend and beneficiary of Moorhouse’s mentoring and advice, and before his death, was approached by him to write a warts-and-all uncensored biography. In Frank Moorhouse: A Life, Lumby explores the life of this man of letters in all of its colour and contradiction.' (Introduction)

Caught in the Fork : The Work, the Life, His Times Kerryn Goldsworthy , 2023 single work review
— Appears in: Australian Book Review , November no. 459 2023; (p. 19-20)

— Review of Frank Moorhouse : A Life Catharine Lumby , 2023 single work biography
'Near the end of this biography of Frank Moorhouse, author Catharine Lumby tells a story that will strike retrospective fear into the heart of any male reader who has ever climbed a tree. Watching an outdoor ceremony in which a cohort of Cub Scouts was being initiated into the Boy Scout troop to which he belonged himself, and having climbed a tree to get a better view, the young Moorhouse ‘slipped, and he slid a couple of metres down the trunk of the tree with his legs wrapped around it. He came to rest on a jagged branch, his crotch caught in the fork.’' (Introduction)           
Grand Days Susan Lever , 2023 single work review
— Appears in: Inside Story , September 2023;

— Review of Frank Moorhouse : A Life Catharine Lumby , 2023 single work biography

Frank Moorhouse’s first biographer captures a life in motion

Catharine Lumby Frank Moorhouse : A Life Judith Brett , 2023 single work review
— Appears in: The Saturday Paper , 23-29 September 2023;

— Review of Frank Moorhouse : A Life Catharine Lumby , 2023 single work biography

'Frank Moorhouse was a complicated man. His writing pushed the boundaries of postwar bourgeois morality, as did his life with his many and varied lovers and his determined refusal of domesticity. Yet he was fascinated by social etiquette and the rituals of bureaucratic and democratic political life. When does the pursuit of pleasure collapse into social chaos, and when do order and rules become repressive? These are the key questions Catharine Lumby threads through her very readable telling of Moorhouse’s long and productive life.' (Introduction)   

Lost Children’s Archive Vanessa Francesca , 2023 single work review
— Appears in: Meanjin Online 2023;

— Review of Frank Moorhouse : A Life Catharine Lumby , 2023 single work biography

'Frank Moorhouse was an Australian writer who defined a generation’s engagement with lost idealism and style. He is best remembered for his Edith trilogy, about a diplomat’s role in creating the League of Nations. A little over a year after his death in June 2022, he is now the subject of a biography by Catharine Lumby, a media studies scholar he had a close friendship with during his lifetime (another by Matthew Lamb is forthcoming). The dilemma posed in Lumby’s biography, Frank Moorhouse: A Life, then, is how to negotiate the limits of other people’s privacy, particularly when negotiating the life of a writer who saw privacy as a veil that accomplished censorship by other means.' (Introduction)

Writing about Women – and Dressing as One Stephen Romei , 2023 single work review
— Appears in: The Weekend Australian , 9-10 September 2023; (p. 13)

— Review of Frank Moorhouse : A Life Catharine Lumby , 2023 single work biography

'Stephen Romei reviews a new biography of Frank Moorhouse, which examines the ways he poured himself into his sublime literary creation, Edith Campbell Berry' 

Grand Days Susan Lever , 2023 single work review
— Appears in: Inside Story , September 2023;

— Review of Frank Moorhouse : A Life Catharine Lumby , 2023 single work biography

Frank Moorhouse’s first biographer captures a life in motion

Caught in the Fork : The Work, the Life, His Times Kerryn Goldsworthy , 2023 single work review
— Appears in: Australian Book Review , November no. 459 2023; (p. 19-20)

— Review of Frank Moorhouse : A Life Catharine Lumby , 2023 single work biography
'Near the end of this biography of Frank Moorhouse, author Catharine Lumby tells a story that will strike retrospective fear into the heart of any male reader who has ever climbed a tree. Watching an outdoor ceremony in which a cohort of Cub Scouts was being initiated into the Boy Scout troop to which he belonged himself, and having climbed a tree to get a better view, the young Moorhouse ‘slipped, and he slid a couple of metres down the trunk of the tree with his legs wrapped around it. He came to rest on a jagged branch, his crotch caught in the fork.’' (Introduction)           
To Be Frank: In Conversation with Catharine Lumby Barry Gittins (interviewer), 2023 single work interview
— Appears in: Eureka Street , 13 November vol. 33 no. 22 2023;

'Catharine Lumby was a friend and beneficiary of Moorhouse’s mentoring and advice, and before his death, was approached by him to write a warts-and-all uncensored biography. In Frank Moorhouse: A Life, Lumby explores the life of this man of letters in all of its colour and contradiction.' (Introduction)

Last amended 15 Sep 2023 08:23:25
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