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y separately published work icon Wild Card : An Autobiography, 1923-1958 single work   autobiography  
  • Author:agent Dorothy Hewett http://www.poetrylibrary.edu.au/poets/hewett-dorothy
Issue Details: First known date: 1990... 1990 Wild Card : An Autobiography, 1923-1958
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'In this acclaimed autobiography, Dorothy Hewett, renowned playwright and novelist, traces the personal and political metamorphoses of her first thirty-five years. A woman who challenged sexual and political conventions, she combines in Wild Card the passions of her life with her power as a writer, creating a classic of people, place and history.After university, several failed love affairs, an attempted suicide and a major poetry prize, Dorothy Hewett joined the Australian Communist Party in 1945. Four years later she left her first husband and moved to Sydney's Redfern with her lover, a boilermaker. Hers has been a life of extremes: the pleasures and purgatories of a woman who tackled everything placed in her path with a searing honesty, energy and intellect.' (Publication summary)

Notes

    • Dedication: To Hal Porter, whose idea it was, and to Merve Lilley, who helped me carry it out
    • Epigraph: 'What does it matter if you do not believe me? The future will surely come. Just a little while and you will see for yourself." - Aeschylus, The Orestia

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

    • Ringwood, Ringwood - Croydon - Kilsyth area, Melbourne - East, Melbourne, Victoria,: McPhee Gribble , 1990 .
      image of person or book cover 5568624317550069875.jpg
      This image has been sourced from online.
      Extent: 278p.
      Description: illus., ports.
      ISBN: 0869142445
    • London,
      c
      England,
      c
      c
      United Kingdom (UK),
      c
      Western Europe, Europe,
      :
      Virago ,
      1990 .
      image of person or book cover 3650056931473978372.jpg
      This image has been sourced from online.
      Extent: 278p.
      Description: illus., ports.
      ISBN: 1853811432 (pbk)
    • Ringwood, Ringwood - Croydon - Kilsyth area, Melbourne - East, Melbourne, Victoria,: Penguin , 2001 .
      image of person or book cover 8904369615742903539.jpg
      This image has been sourced from online.
      Extent: 278p.
      Description: illus., ports.
      ISBN: 0141001372
    • Crawley, Inner Perth, Perth, Western Australia,: UWA Publishing , 2012 .
      image of person or book cover 6127155016539865922.jpg
      This image has been sourced from online.
      Extent: 288p.
      Note/s:
      • Republished for a new generation of readers; release date May 2012.
      ISBN: 9781742583952

Other Formats

  • Braille.
  • Sound recording.

Works about this Work

The Wild Workshop : The Ghost of a Brontëan Childhood in the Life of Dorothy Hewett Lucy Dougan , 2019 single work essay
— Appears in: Cordite Poetry Review , 1 February no. 89 2019;

An indelible part of the Brontë mythology is their symbiotic development as young artists in an isolated environment. Some time ago, Juliet Barker’s biographical scholarship on the culture at the parsonage and the Brontë siblings’ lives in Haworth has questioned that isolation in terms of the rich resources available to the Brontës siblings and a family culture that strongly encouraged their imaginative and artistic development. More recently, director Sally Wainwright’s TV movie To Walk Invisiblehas meticulously recreated the dynamic relationship between the Brontës’ childhood fantasy worlds and their adult writing, along with the strategic ways in which the three sisters built a professional path towards their lives as novelists directly through their sibling bonds. Wainwright’s interpretation of the sisters’ creative lives has gone some way in recovering both the weirdness and the ordinariness of the Brontës in it they seem closer (more graspable) than in any recreation of their lives encountered before.' (Introduction) 

'With Complexity’ : Growing up with Dorothy Hewett Jane Jervis-Read , 2018 single work essay
— Appears in: Meanjin Online 2018;
Looking for the Soft Spot Jane Jervis-Read , 2018 single work criticism
— Appears in: Meanjin , Spring vol. 77 no. 3 2018; (p. 35)

'Biographies OF Dorothy Hewett (1923-2002) usually include a short section like this: In 1944 she married communist lawyer Lloyd Davies and had a son who died of leukemia at age three. The marriage ended in divorce in 1948, following Hewett's departure to Sydney to live with Les Flood, a boilermaker, with whom she had three sons over five years'. That was from Wikipedia. It's just a few sentences, a handful of facts notable for many reasons, working backwards: the quick succession of births, the shift from a middle-class; marriage into a working-class one, the death of a child. He was her first child, named Clancy after the Aboriginal activist Clancy McKenna. Clancy, the child, was born in Perth and died tragically in Melbourne in 1950. The thing that snippet from Wikipedia doesn't make clear—that few biographies explore further than the bare facts-is that when Hewett left Davies, she left Clancy too. His sickness and death came the following year.' (Introduction)
 

Australia in Three Books Fiona Wright , 2018 single work column
— Appears in: Meanjin , Autumn vol. 77 no. 1 2018; (p. 24-26)

'I’ve been thinking about Beverley Farmer’s beautiful, aching book The Seal Woman again recently because I spent some time last year on the surf coast of Victoria, alone in a house on a hill above a beach, red-rocked and windy and wild—the same kind of landscape that Dagmar, the book’s protagonist, inhabits. Dagmar is Danish, but has returned to Australia, to the coastal town where she spent her honeymoon 20 years ago, to mourn her husband, who was killed recently in a shipping accident in the North Sea. Dagmar is housesitting for the friends they both met there, staying in the house alone, adjusting to life alone, walking on the beach and cooking simple meals and reading, and grieving, all the time grieving.' (Introduction)

Sex, Poetry and The Chapel Perilous Julian Meyrick , 2017 single work criticism
— Appears in: The Conversation , 3 May 2017;
'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)
Summer Reading Rod Moran , 1991 single work review
— Appears in: Fremantle Arts Review , December and vol. 6 no. 1 January vol. 5 no. 12 1991; (p. 10-11)

— Review of Wild Card : An Autobiography, 1923-1958 Dorothy Hewett , 1990 single work autobiography ; The Quest for Grace Manning Clark , 1990 single work autobiography ; Cabin Fever Elizabeth Jolley , 1990 single work novel ; The Bluebird Cafe Carmel Bird , 1990 single work novel ; Florid States Rod Usher , 1990 single work novel ; God in the Afternoon : Selected Poetry and Fiction of Griffith Watkins Griffith Wynne Watkins , 1990 selected work poetry short story ; Miss Gymkhana, R. G. Menzies and Me : Small Town Life in the Fifties Kathy Skelton , 1990 single work autobiography
Lust for Life Helen Elliott , 2005 single work review
— Appears in: Limelight , January 2005; (p. 55)

— Review of Wild Card : An Autobiography, 1923-1958 Dorothy Hewett , 1990 single work autobiography
Hollows of the Heart Bernadette Brennan , 2012 single work review
— Appears in: Australian Book Review , September no. 344 2012; (p. 12-13)

— Review of Wild Card : An Autobiography, 1923-1958 Dorothy Hewett , 1990 single work autobiography
Wild Bunch of Tall Poppies Edmund Campion , 1990 single work review
— Appears in: The Bulletin , 2 October vol. 112 no. 5739 1990; (p. 112)

— Review of Against Time and Place Elizabeth Backhouse , 1990 single work novel ; Miss Gymkhana, R. G. Menzies and Me : Small Town Life in the Fifties Kathy Skelton , 1990 single work autobiography ; Poppy Drusilla Modjeska , 1990 single work novel ; Wild Card : An Autobiography, 1923-1958 Dorothy Hewett , 1990 single work autobiography
Paperbacks Penelope Nelson , 1990 single work review
— Appears in: The Weekend Australian , 22-23 December 1990; (p. rev 5)

— Review of My Gorgeous Life : An Adventure Dame Edna Everage , 1989 single work autobiography ; Wild Card : An Autobiography, 1923-1958 Dorothy Hewett , 1990 single work autobiography
y separately published work icon Wild Card [music] : The Dorothy Hewett Song Cycle : For Soprano, Cello and Piano Moya Henderson (composer), Sydney : Sounds Australian , 1991 Z1004407 1991 single work lyric/song
Not to be Trusted : Communism, Feminism and Creativity Zora Simic , 2000 single work criticism
— Appears in: Altitude , March vol. 1 no. 1 2000;
Discusses the pressures and conflicts suffered by Devanny and Hewett as women writers involved in the Communist Party of Australia and the effect on their creative work of abiding to its sexual and political orthodoxies.
Some Dynamics of Literary Placemaking : An Australian Perspective Bruce Bennett , 2003 single work criticism
— Appears in: ISLE : Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment , Summer vol. 10 no. 2 2003; (p. 97-109)

— Appears in: Homing In : Essays on Australian Literature and Selfhood 2006; (p. 231-241; notes 279-280)
Dorothy Hewett's Paths to the Chapel Perilous Susan Sheridan , 2009 single work criticism
— Appears in: Westerly , July vol. 54 no. 1 2009; (p. 170-188)
Discusses Dorothy Hewett's transition from a Communist writer in the 1960s to a dramatist recognised as a feminist in the 1970s.
Leaving the Party : Dorothy Hewett, Literary Politics and the Long 1960s Fiona Morrison , 2012 single work criticism
— Appears in: Southerly , vol. 72 no. 1 2012; (p. 36-50)

'What political, cultural and rhetorical changes occurred between the publication of Dorothy Hewett's nostalgic essay on Kylie Tenant in Westerly in late 1960 (Hewett, "How Beautiful Upon the Mountains") and her strikingly negative literary obituary of Katherine Susannah Prichard in Overland in late 1969 (Hewett, "Excess of Love: The Irrecon - cilable in Katharine Susannah Prichard")? The first of these essays offered a forthright series of criticisms about Tenant's interest in stylistic experimentation and the decline of her rather more interesting socialist realism. The second essay delivered an equally forthright assessment of Prichard, Hewett's much-loved fellow West Australian woman writer and Communist, strongly condemning her deforming and persistent allegiance to the Communist Party in Australia and the Soviet Union and the socialist realist aesthetics mandated by them. Separated by only nine years, these two pieces of non-fiction present the contradictory literary and political positions that book-end Hewett's turbulent and productive Cold War 1960s, and indicate the nature and importance of the repudiation of Prichard as a springboard for Hewett's writing in the 1970s. Approached chronologically, Hewett's essays of the 1960s demonstrate the imbrication of politics and literary aesthetics in her work. Initially reproducing the partisan contours of the relationship between politics and literature familiar from the Left cultural debates of the 1930s, Hewett finds increasingly different answers for this debate's foundational questions about the function of art, the role of the socially engaged artist, the importance of realism and what to do or think about modernism.' (Author's abstract)

Last amended 30 Apr 2020 12:41:09
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