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y separately published work icon Come in Spinner single work   novel  
Issue Details: First known date: 1951... 1951 Come in Spinner
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

The action revolves largely around the Hotel South Pacific where the girls and the 'occupying' American troops meet in the vestibule, while upstairs in the Marie Antionette beauty salon the attendants Deb, Guinea and Claire, each with her own complicated romantic entanglement, work long hours to disguise the shortcomings of their rich, fat clientele. A book sharply observant of the new era ushered in by WWII.


form y separately published work icon Come in Spinner Nick Enright , Lissa Benyon , ( dir. Robert Marchand ) 1990 Australia : ABC Television , 1990 Z486292 1990 series - publisher film/TV

'Sydney in 1944, the tide is turning in the Pacific War and American forces have made Sydney a gaudy, hectic garrison town. The gamblers and "good time charlies" converge on the South Pacific Hotel, one of Sydney's finest.

The heart of the hotel is the bustling beauty salon run by the cool professional Claire (Lisa Harrow), who hides a guilty secret; Deb (Kerry Armstrong,) who has a pre-war marriage and a wartime alternative; and Guinea (Rebecca Gibney), whose 'good war' is not what it seems.

Come in Spinner is the story of one week in their lives, as they play the game of chance for the highest stakes...survival, security and the opportunity for happiness and love.'

Source: ABC Commercial website (Sighted 27/03/12)


  • In October 1945 the Sydney Daily Telegraph announced that it was offering one thousand pounds sterling for a novel written by an Australian in Australia. The winning manuscript was to be serialised by the newspaper and published as a book in Australia and overseas. When rival newspaper the Sydney Morning Herald countered with a competition offering two thousand pounds sterling, the closing date for entries was extended until 30 October 1946.

    On the day the competition closed, a manuscript 'Unabated Spring', by `Sydney Wyborne', was entered and was the majority choice of the judges. In August 1947 Wyborne received a telegram summoning him to see the editor of the Daily Telegraph. A fortnight later Wyborne was unmasked as a female partnership consisting of Florence James, and Dymphna Cusack but editor Brian Penton announced that 'Unabated Spring' (re-named 'Come in Spinner') was the prize-winner After further delays, the two women writers were informed in May 1948 that the prize was theirs and the book was to be set immediately. But still the matter was far from resolved. The authors clashed with Consolidated Press over the length of the manuscript, and it was not until August 1948 that a contract was signed and the prize money was paid.

    Come in Spinner was finally published in 1951 by Heinemann.

    (Source: Bridget Griffen-Foley, 'Re-visiting to :Mystery of a Novel Contest": The Daily Telegraph and 'Come in Spinner' ALS 19.4 (2000): 413-424.

  • Dedication: To Miles Franklin
  • Epigraph: "And, sometimes, 'Come in Spinner,' laugh the gods.

    Yet the felled tree ever/sprouts from the lowly butt.

    And 'Come in Spinner,' laugh the gods again.

    'Well, who'd believe it - tails!' my empty pocket cries. But still there blooms my unabated spring." - Ian Mudie.

  •  For further information see Cairns, Geoffrey : Access Denied : A Bibliography of Suppressed Australian Literature . p. 62

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

Alternative title: Nylon und Orchideen : Roman
Language: German

Other Formats

  • Sound recording.
  • Braille.

Works about this Work

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'Charlotte Brontë was 12 and Charles Dickens 18 in October 1830 when Captain Patrick Logan, third commandant of the Moreton Bay penal settlement, was murdered by a person or persons unknown, his decomposing body discovered in hilly country behind Brisbane Town more than a week after his disappearance. All the signs were of ambush and desperate flight, and Logan’s body showed the marks of Aboriginal weapons.' (Introduction)

The Athens of the South Alison Broinowski , 2014 single work criticism
— Appears in: Adelaide : A Literary City 2014; (p. 147-161)
A Fascinating Kaleidoscope : Florence James and Dymphna Cusack's Come in Spinner Kate Darian-Smith , 2013 single work criticism
— Appears in: Telling Stories : Australian Life and Literature 1935–2012 2013; (p. 70-76)
Untitled Miles Franklin , 1951 single work review
— Appears in: Meanjin , Autumn vol. 10 no. 1 1951; (p. 81-82)

— Review of Come in Spinner Florence James , Dymphna Cusack , 1951 single work novel
Cocky 1951 single work review
— Appears in: AIM : Australian Independent Monthly [later Voice] , vol. 1 no. 1 1951;

— Review of Come in Spinner Florence James , Dymphna Cusack , 1951 single work novel
Comparing the Critics 1951 single work review
— Appears in: The Austrovert , Winter no. 3 1951; (p. 5)

— Review of Come in Spinner Florence James , Dymphna Cusack , 1951 single work novel
The Yanks in Sydney 1951 single work review
— Appears in: The Bulletin , 18 April vol. 72 no. 3714 1951; (p. 2)

— Review of Come in Spinner Florence James , Dymphna Cusack , 1951 single work novel
Hotel South-Pacific Margaret Walkom , 1952 single work review
— Appears in: Southerly , vol. 13 no. 1 1952; (p. 44-45)

— Review of Come in Spinner Florence James , Dymphna Cusack , 1951 single work novel
History of the Book in Australia Conference 1996 1996 single work column
— Appears in: Margin , November no. 40 1996; (p. 37)
The State Library of New South Wales was the venue for the two day HOBA conference in 1996. It was organised by Elizabeth Webby and Martyn Lyons.
The Australian Home-Front Novel of the Second World War: Genre, Gender and Region William Hatherell , 2007 single work criticism
— Appears in: Australian Literary Studies , May vol. 23 no. 1 2007; (p. 79-91)
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— Appears in: The Age , 15 September 2007; (p. 28)
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— Appears in: Melbourne Historical Journal , vol. 33 no. 2005; (p. 39-51)
Last amended 7 Dec 2022 13:22:20