Hewett, Dorothy (Coade) 1923-2002

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HEWETT, Dorothy (Coade) 1923-2002

OBITUARY NOTICE—See index for CA sketch: Born May 21, 1923, in Wickepin, Western Australia, Australia; died of breast cancer August 25, 2002, in Springwood, New South Wales, Australia. Author. Hewett was an award-winning poet, novelist, playwright, nonfiction writer, and librettist. A graduate of the University of Western Australia, where she earned her bachelor's degree in 1961, she was an ardent communist in early life but later became disillusioned with leftist politics. She began her writing career in the late 1940s when she worked as a journalist in Perth. After a two-year break as a writer during which she was a mill worker from 1950 to 1952, Hewett found a job as a copywriter in Sydney. During the late 1960s and early 1970s she was a tutor in English at her alma mater. However, while these jobs helped pay the bills, her main focus in life was to write her own fiction and nonfiction, and she found success with her bestselling 1959 novel Bobbin Up. Her early work revealed her leftist ideals, but she abandoned communism in 1968 after the Soviets invaded Czechoslovakia. It was after her defection from communism that she was at her most prolific, publishing volumes of poetry, such as Rapunzel in Suburbia (1975) and Alice in Wormland (1987), plays such as Catspaw (1974), Miss Hewott's Shenanigans (1975), and The Man from Mukinupin (1979), short-story collections, novels including The Australians Have a Word for It (1964) and The Toucher (1993), and her autobiography, Wildcard (1990). By the time Hewett left her tutoring job in 1973, she was an established writer who was frequently asked to be a visiting professor and lecturer at universities across Australia and the United States. She also received numerous literary honors, including two Australian Writers Guild awards, the National Book Council of Australia's poetry award, and the Nettie Palmer award for nonfiction. She was named a Member of the Order of Australia in 1986.



Contemporary Poets, seventh edition, St. James Press (Detroit, MI), 2001, pp. 520-523.


Australian, August 27, 2002, p. 12.

Guardian (London, England), September 5, 2002, p. 26.

Independent (London, England), September 3, 2002, p. 14.

Times (London, England), September 10, 2002, p. 34.