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Marilla North Marilla North i(A19702 works by)
Born: Established: 1945 Newcastle, Newcastle - Hunter Valley area, New South Wales, ;
Gender: Female
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BiographyHistory

Marilla North attended Newcastle Girls' High School where Dymphna Cusack had been a schoolteacher sixteen years previously. Her poetry as a young adult was regularly published in the Canberra Times.

In 1976, while working at the Film and Television School in Sydney, North met Julie James Bailey, (daughter of Florence James), who was researching the viability of turning Come In Spinner into a movie. North helped design the research study and her earlier interest in the friendship between Cusack and James became a long-term project.

An Arts graduate from the University of New England, North completed postgraduate studies in psychology, media and drama at Macquarie and Sydney Universities, conducted research studies for the ABC and the Australian Film, Television and Radio School and completed an MA (Hons) in post-colonial literature at Wollongong University. Her PhD candidature has been undertaken at the University of Queensland: the first volume of the planned biographical trilogy that was the focus of this research was published in 2017. It followed North's original hybrid narrative, Yarn Spinners: A Story in Letters -- Dymphna Cusack, Miles Franklin and Florence James, which was published in 2001 and won the FAW Biography Prize.

North is a freelance features journalist and reviewer, and teaches literature and writing skills.

Most Referenced Works

Awards for Works

y separately published work icon Yarn Spinners : A Story in Letters : Dymphna Cusack, Florence James, Miles Franklin St Lucia : University of Queensland Press , 2001 Z899867 2001 anthology correspondence biography From the correspondence between Cusack, James and Franklin across the years 1928 to the death of Franklin in 1954, Yarn Spinners: A Story in Letters has been shaped by a process of selection, editing, weaving and providing narrative links in order to develop a continuous narrative of the friendship, collaborations and inter-related lives of these three Australian women writers. The Prologue gives a biographical overview of each of their lives. Each of the five narrative Parts is briefly prefaced with its socio-historical context.

Part I:1928-1935 sets up the Cusack-James relationship as they write to each other as young women graduates: Cusack is teaching in remote rural NSW schools whilst James does the Grand Tour of Europe, finally settling down in London where she marries in 1933.

Part II :1938-39 establishes the friendship of Cusack and Franklin which develops during their collaboration on the scandalous sesqui-centennial satire Pioneers on Parade. In Part III:1945-47, Cusack and James, both burnt out at the end of WWII, set up a writing retreat in the Blue Mountains and collaborate on their prizewinning bestseller expose of wartime Sydney, Come In Spinner.

In Part IV: 1947-49, James returns to London and Cusack follows through the revisions demanded by the Daily Telegraph before they will award the thousand pounds prize money. Cusack is also researching her "tuberculosis novel" Say No To Death. All That Swagger is published by Angus & Robertson whilst Franklin endures her nephew's war neurosis and makes her final Will, providing for an annual [Miles] Franklin Award. In mid-1949 Cusack leaves for Europe.

In Part V:1950-55 the Cusack-Franklin-James friendships are now essentially carried through their correspondence; Come In Spinner is published to press acclaim in London, with Cusack's Say No To Death, Southern Steel and Caddie following in quick succession. Angus & Robertson finally began publishing the "Brent of Bin Bin" series. James, now divorced, rearing two daughters, begins work with London publisher Constable & Co as a reader and talent scout for Australian writers. Franklin and Cusack's friendship provides the emotional fulcrum for this final Part.

The Chronology (1879-2001) provides the facts of the lives and works; the Biographical Notes provide an inventory of most of the cast of characters who appear in the letters.

2001 winner The Fellowship of Australian Writers Victoria Inc. National Literary Awards FAW Christina Stead Award Awarded to editor Marilla North.
Last amended 17 Apr 2018 16:19:33
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