'Between the publication of The Home Girls, in 1982, and her death, Olga Masters was acclaimed as one of Australia's finest writers. Her short stories, distinguished by their acute observation of human behaviour, drew comparison with the finest exponents of the form, such as Chekhov.
'The Home Girls is a collection of candid, witty stories about rural and suburban life. Set in the mid-twentieth century, these are tales of ordinary people and domestic life. Masters was, as the Advertiser remarked, 'a natural storyteller'. ' (Publication summary)
'The fictional work of Olga Masters primarily focuses on family and domestic life in rural New South Wales between World War I and World War II. This article examines some forms of pernicious oppression and constrictions that overshadowed the lives of the author’s characters and, in particular, the constraints enforced upon her female characters. The article explores how the notion of community in the author’s fiction prefigures both as pervasive and invasive modes of social power and coercion. Drawing on Michel Foucault’s seminal work Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison (1995), the article contends that the community acts as a collective presence that subjects its members to a form of overarching disciplinary power through the use of constant surveillance, supervision and control.' (Publication abstract)