One hundred and fifty years after Henry Lawson’s birth, we are still captivated by his most famous work, The Drover’s Wife. A panel of bush bard experts tallk to Nicole Abadee about Lawson’s influence and their own retellings of the story. In Frank Moorhouse’ own version of The Drover’s Wife his academic persona uncovers the shameful truth of the ‘real’ drover’s wife. Ryan O’Neill is working on retelling the story in 99 ways, and Kerrie Davies’ A Wife’s Heart is written from the perspective of Lawson’s wife Bertha.
Frank Moorhouse (Australian)
Frank Moorhouse was born in the coastal town of Nowra, NSW. He worked as an editor of small-town newspapers and as an administrator and in the 1970s became a full-time writer. He has written fiction, non fiction, screenplays and essays and edited many collections of writing. Forty Seventeen was given a laudatory full-page review by Angela Carter in the New York Times and was named Book of the Year by the Age and 'moral winner' of the Booker Prize by the London magazine Blitz. Grand Days, the first novel in The Edith Trilogy, won the SA Premier's Award for Fiction. Dark Palace won the Miles Franklin Literary Award and was shortlisted for the NSW Premier's Literary Award, the Victorian Premier's Literary Award and the Age Book of the Year Award. Frank has undertaken numerous fellowships and his work has been translated into several languages. He was made a member of the Order of Australia for services to literature in 1985 and was awarded an honorary doctorate from Griffith University in 1997.
Ryan O’Neill (Australian)
Ryan O'Neill worked as an English language teacher in Lithuania, Rwanda and China before settling in Australia in 2004. His short stories have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies. His work has won the Hal Porter and Roland Robinson awards and been shortlisted for the Queensland Premier’s Steele Rudd Award and The Age Short Story Prize. His collections include The Weight of a Human Heart and Their Brilliant Careers: The Fantastic Lives of Sixteen Extraordinary Australian Writers.
Kerrie Davies (Australian)
Kerrie Davies is a journalist, author of A Wife's Heart and media lecturer at UNSW. She has contributed to Vogue Australia, The Weekend Australian and Elle, among other media outlets. She is completing her Doctor of Arts at the University of Sydney and is co-author of the Colonial Australian Literary Journalism Database with Dr Willa McDonald and Dr Bunty Avieson. Kerrie has also written about the literary journalists at the Ned Kelly siege and revisionist biography.
Nicole Abadee (Australian)
Nicole Abadee is the books writer for the Australian Financial Review Magazine, out on the last Friday of every month. She also runs her own literary consultancy, helping writers to polish their manuscripts prior to publication. Before that she was a senior editor at Penguin Random House.