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Jolley, Elizabeth

Elizabeth Jolley (Monica Elizabeth Jolley), 1923–2007, Australian novelist, b. Birmingham, England. A nurse during World War II, she immigrated to Western Australia in 1959. Although she had written since childhood, her first book, Five Acre Virgin and Other Stories, did not appear until 1976; several other short-story volumes were later published. With her first novel, Palomino (1980), Jolley succeeded in combining a rather brooding traditional style with an assertion of feminist concerns. She continued in this vein in later novels, writing of human eccentricity and alienation, often with a dark humor. These works include Miss Peabody's Inheritance (1983), Mr. Scobie's Riddle (1983), Foxybaby (1986), The Sugar Mother (1988), My Father's Moon (1989), Cabin Fever (1991), The Orchard Thieves (1995), and The Accomodating Spouse (1999). Fellow Passengers, a volume of her collected stories, was published in 1997.

See C. Lurie, ed., Central Mischief: Elizabeth Jolley on Writing, Her Past and Herself (1992); C. Lurie, Learning to Dance: Elizabeth Jolley: Her Life and Work (2006); P. Salzman, Elizabeth Jolley's Fictions (1993); H. Thomson, Bio-fictions: Brian Matthews, Drusilla Modjeska, and Elizabeth Jolley (1994).

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Jolley, (Monica) Elizabeth

JOLLEY, (Monica) Elizabeth

Nationality: Australian. Born: Monica Elizabeth Knight in Birmingham, England, 4 June 1923; moved to Australia, 1959; became citizen, 1978. Education: Friends' School, Sibford, Oxfordshire, 1934-40; St. Thomas' Hospital, London (orthopaedic nursing training), 1940-43; Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham (general training), 1943-46. Family: Married Leonard Jolley; two daughters and one son. Career: Salesperson, nurse, and domestic, 1960s. Part-time tutor in creative writing, Fremantle Arts Centre, Western Australia, from 1974; part-time tutor in English from 1978, writer-in-residence, 1982, and since 1984 half-time tutor in English, Western Australian Institute of Technology, Bentley; half-time lecturer and writer-in-residence from 1986, and since 1989 honorary writer-in-residence, Curtin University of Technology, Perth, Western Australia. Writer-in-residence, Scarborough Senior High School, Winter 1980, and Western Australian College of Advanced Education, Nedlands, 1983. President, Australian Society of Authors, 1985-86. Awards: State of Victoria prize, for short story, 1966, 1981, 1982; Sound Stage prize, for radio play, 1975; Wieckhard prize, 1975; Australian Writers Guild prize, for radio play, 1982; Western Australia Week prize, 1983; The Age Book of the Year award, 1983, 1989; Australia Council Literature Board senior fellowship, 1984; New South Wales Premier's award, 1985; Australian Bicentennial National Literary award, 1986; Miles Franklin award, 1987; Fellowship of Australian Writers Ramsden plaque, 1988; Australian Literary Society Gold Medal award, 1991, for Cabin Fever; The France-Australia award, 1993, for translation of The Sugar Mother; The Premier of West Australia's prize, 1993, for Central Mischief; National Book Connail Banjo award, 1994, for The Georges' Wife. D. Tech.: Western Australian Institute of Technology, 1986. Officer, Order of Australia, 1988. Agent: Caroline Lurie, Australian Literary Management, 2-A Armstrong Street, Middle Park, Victoria 3206. Address: 28 Agett Road, Claremont, Western Australia 6010, Australia.

Publications

Novels

Palomino. Collingwood, Victoria, Outback Press, and London, Melbourne House, 1980; New York, Persea, 1987.

The Newspaper of Claremont Street. Fremantle, Western Australia, Fremantle Arts Centre Press, 1981; New York, Viking, 1987; London, Penguin, 1988.

Mr. Scobie's Riddle. Ringwood, Victoria, Penguin, 1983; New York, Penguin, 1984; London, Penguin, 1985.

Miss Peabody's Inheritance. St. Lucia, University of Queensland Press, 1983; New York, Viking, 1984; London, Viking, 1985.

Milk and Honey. Fremantle, Western Australia, Fremantle Arts Centre Press, 1984; New York, Persea, 1986; London, Viking, 1987.

Foxybaby. St. Lucia, University of Queensland Press, and New York, Viking, 1985; London, Viking, 1986.

The Well. Ringwood, Victoria, London, and New York, Viking, 1986.

The Sugar Mother. Fremantle, Western Australia, Fremantle Arts Centre Press, and New York, Harper, 1988; London, Viking, 1989.

My Father's Moon. Ringwood, Victoria, and London, Viking, and New York, Harper, 1989.

Cabin Fever. Ringwood, Victoria, Viking, 1990; London, Sinclair-Stevenson, and New York, Harper Collins, 1991.

The Georges' Wife. Ringwood, Victoria, Viking, 1993.

The Orchard Thieves. Ringwood, Victoria, Viking, 1995.

Lovesong. Victoria, Australia, and New York, Viking, 1997.

Short Stories

Five Acre Virgin and Other Stories. Fremantle, Western Australia, Fremantle Arts Centre Press, 1976.

The Travelling Entertainer and Other Stories. Fremantle, Western Australia, Fremantle Arts Centre Press, 1979.

Woman in a Lampshade. Ringwood, Victoria, Penguin, 1983; New York and London, Penguin, 1986.

Stories. Fremantle, Western Australia, Fremantle Arts Centre Press, 1984; New York, Viking, 1988; London, Penguin, 1989.

Fellow Passengers: Collected Stories, edited by Barbara Milech. Ringwood, Victoria, New York, Penguin Books, 1997.

Uncollected Short Stories

"The Talking Bricks," in Summer's Tales 2, edited by Kylie Tennant. Melbourne and London, Macmillan, and New York, St. Martin's Press, 1965.

"The Rhyme," in Westerly (Nedlands, Western Australia), no. 4, 1967.

"The Sick Vote," in Quadrant (Sydney), vol. 12, no. 5, 1968.

"The Well-Bred Thief," in South Pacific Stories, edited by Chris and Helen Tiffin. St. Lucia, Queensland, SPACLALS, 1980.

"Mark F," in The True Life Story of , edited by Jan Craney and Esther Caldwell. St. Lucia, University of Queensland Press, 1981.

"Night Report," "It's about Your Daughter Mrs. Page," and "Poppy Seed and Sesame Rings," in Frictions, edited by Anna Gibbs and Alison Tilson. Fitzroy, Victoria, Sybylla, 1982.

"Night Runner," in Room to Move, edited by Suzanne Falkiner. Sydney, Allen and Unwin, 1985.

"Bathroom Dance," in Transgressions, edited by Don Anderson. Ringwood, Victoria, Penguin, 1986.

"Frederick the Great Returns to Fairfields," in Portrait: A West Coast Collection, edited by B.R. Coffey and Wendy Jenkins. Fremantle, Western Australia, Fremantle Arts Centre Press, 1986.

"This Flickering, Foxy Man, My Father," in Vogue Australia (Sydney), October 1986.

"Mr. Berrington," in Australian Literary Quarterly, April 1987.

"Melon Jam," in The Crankworth Bequest and Other Stories, edited by Jennifer Haynes and Barry Carozzi. Adelaide, Australian Association for the Teaching of English, 1987.

"A Miracle of Confluence," in Landfall (Christchurch), no. 2, 1988.

"727 Chester Road," in Southern Review (Adelaide), vol. 21, no. 3, 1988.

"The Fellmonger," in Eight Voices of the Eighties, edited by Gillian Whitlock. St. Lucia, University of Queensland Press, 1989.

"My Mother's Visit," in Westerly (Nedlands, Western Australia), vol. 34, no. 4, 1989.

"The Widow's House," in Expressway, edited by Helen Daniel. Ringwood, Victoria, Penguin, 1989.

"The Goose Path," in Best Short Stories 1990, edited by Giles Gordon and David Hughes. London, Heinemann, 1990; as The Best English Short Stories 1990, New York, Norton, 1990.

"The Widder Tree Shadder Murder," in Crimes for a Summer Christmas, edited by Stephen Knight. Sydney, Allen and Unwin, 1990.

Plays

Woman in a Lampshade (broadcast 1979). Published in Radio Quartet, Fremantle, Western Australia, Fremantle Arts Centre Press, 1980.

Radio Plays:

Night Report, 1975; The Performance, 1976; The Shepherd on the Roof, 1977; The Well-Bred Thief, 1977; Woman in a Lampshade, 1979; Two Men Running, 1981; Paper Children, 1988; Little Lewis Has Had a Lovely Sleep, 1990.; Off the Air: Nine Plays for Radio. Ringwood, Victoria, Penguin Books, 1995.

Poetry

Diary of a Weekend Farmer. Fremantle, Western Australia, Fremantle Arts Centre Press, 1993.

Other

Travelling Notebook: Literature Notes. Fremantle, Western Australia, Arts Access, 1978.

Central Mischief. Ringwood, Victoria, Viking, 1992.

*

Manuscript Collections:

Mitchell Library, Sydney.

Critical Studies:

Articles by Jolley and by Laurie Clancy, in Australian Book Review (Melbourne), November 1983; Helen Garner, in Meanjin (Melbourne), no. 2, 1983; "Between Two Worlds" by A.P. Riemer, in Southerly (Sydney), 1983; "The Goddess, the Artist, and the Spinster" by Dorothy Jones, in Westerly (Nedlands, Western Australia), no. 4, 1984; Joan Kirkby, in Meanjin (Melbourne), no. 4, 1984; Martin Harrison, in The Age Monthly Review (Melbourne), May 1985; Elizabeth Jolley: New Critical Essays edited by Delys Bird and Brenda Walker, Sydney, Angus and Robertson, 1991; Bio-Fictions: Brian Matthews, Drusilla Modjeska, and Elizabeth Jolley by Helen Thomson. Townsville, Queensland, Foundation for Australian Literary Studies, 1994.

Elizabeth Jolley comments:

(1991) In my writing I try to explore and celebrate the small things in human life. I am interested in people and their needs and feelings. I work with imagination from moments of truth and awareness. Characters stay with me for years.

* * *

Elizabeth Jolley has had perhaps the most meteoric rise to fame of any Australian writer during the last quarter of the twentieth century. Apart from stories in anthologies and journals Jolley had had no work published until 1976 when, at the age of fifty-three, her collection Five Acre Virgin and Other Stories appeared under the aegis of the newly formed Fremantle Arts Centre Press. Since then her rate of publication has been as phenomenal as the rise in critical acclaim of her work. The stories were written over a period of sixteen years prior to publication in book form and show already her peculiar combination of unsentimental realism and original, often bizarre humor. The title itself suggests one of the most pervasive themes in her early work. "There's nothing like having a piece of land," a protagonist in several of the stories says. "Having a piece of land" is crucial to the characters in these works, many of whom are dispossessed or migrants or both. They have come from Vienna, where the author's father grew up, or the Black Country of England where she herself lived, or Holland from where the recurring figure of Uncle Bernard migrated. They struggle all their lives to buy the talismanic five acres only to find out that they cannot live off them. They lie and blackmail in order to stay on other people's land. Adam, in "Adam's Wife," one of the most powerful and somber stories that Jolley has written, even marries a retarded woman in order to gain possession of her miserable shack and few acres.

Jolley's second collection, The Travelling Entertainer, contains her longer stories from much the same period and shows her going back and revising and reworking the same materialthemes, characters, landscapes, situations and motifs, even names. As well as the preoccupation with land again, the stories contain many elements that appear throughout her work: allusions to music (especially Beethoven), to literature (especially Tolstoy), the interest in nursing homes and hospitals, the figure of the defeated salesman, the migrants from Holland and the Black Country including Uncle Bernard again, and the first of Jolley's many treatments of lesbian relationships and of women offering themselves to other women as a form of comfort or consolation or even occasionally as a means of achieving power. A lesbian relationship is at the center of her first and least typical novel, Palomina, which was written partly in the late 1950s, partly in 1962, and then rewritten over 1970, 1973, and 1974 before finally appearing in 1980. It is a lyrical, even reverential account of a love affair between a sixty-year-old deregistered doctor and another woman barely half her age. It is totally devoid of her usual humor and sense of the incongruous and despite the then controversial subject the two women behave with such relentless nobility towards each other that they threaten to become merely boring. The Newspaper of Claremont Street is vintage Jolley, not her most profound book but a delightfully amusing and at times quite poignant one. The heroine of this novella is a cleaning woman known as Newspaper, or Weekly, because she gathers gossip from her rich clients and passes it on to the rest of the community.

Mr. Scobie's Riddle placed Jolley instantly in the forefront of Australian novelists. Set in the appalling nursing home of St. Christopher and St. Jude, the novel gives full vent to her penchant for mordant and grotesque humor; it is both hilarious and horrifying and yet its triumph is that it avoids the extremes of seeing the aged people of the home as either the victims of society's cruelty and indifference on the one hand, or merely comic eccentrics on the other. Woman in a Lampshade is an assured collection of stories, though there is little in it to surprise readers of the author's earlier work, while Miss Peabody's Inheritance is an earlier novella, rewritten, which cuts back and forth between two separate and interrelated stories. At the end of the book, the two stories, set in England and Australia, converge in an unexpected way to make a comment on a theme that increasingly concerns Jolley in her later work: the relationship between life and art, and between reality and fantasy.

Throughout the 1980s Jolley continued her prolific output, confirming her reputation and winning all major Australian literary awards at some stage or other. The short novel Milk and Honey is a strange parable and a darkly disturbing, somber book. Foxybaby, on the other hand, returns more to the bizarrely comic and almost surreal mode of Mr. Scobie's Riddle. The Well is a fusion of Grimm fairytale (there are many images and motifs to do with fairytales) and psychological thriller, about two women who lower a man down into a well after they believe they have killed him in a car accident. The significance of the well itself, as both fact and symbol, steadily expands as disturbing ripples swell out from the initial action. The title of The Sugar Mother refers to the surrogate mother used by one of the characters in this strange but delicate novel in which most of the meanings are both subterranean and suggestive, the comedy present but muted and somber.

But perhaps Jolley's finest achievements came later, with the publication of My Father's Moon and Cabin Fever. Here Jolley has returned to her roots, to what Yeats called "the foul rag and bone shop of the heart," in order to reassess her life and work. What the critic Helen Daniel said of My Father's Moon that it is "the novel at the heart of all her work"is equally true of its successor and the two books read in fact like the first two parts of a closely autobiographical and linked trilogy. Their protagonist is Vera or Veronica Wright and the setting is England in all the misery of its immediate postwar austerity. My Father's Moon depicts Vera as a young girl, growing up to become a student nurse during the war and becoming pregnant by a worthless doctor. By the time of Cabin Fever her lover is dead, she has given birth to a daughter and become a qualified nurse. Vera speculates at one point on "Whether things are written down or they dwell somewhere within and surface unbidden at anytime." The two novels are a record of that unbidden surfacing, a confrontation with the events of the past and all their shaping of the novelist's subsequent art.

Laurie Clancy

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Jolley, (Monica) Elizabeth

JOLLEY, (Monica) Elizabeth

Nationality: Australian. Born: Elizabeth Knight in Birmingham, England, 4 June 1923; moved to Australia, 1959; became citizen, 1978. Education: Friends' School, Sibford, Oxfordshire, 1934-40; St. Thomas' Hospital, London (orthopaedic nursing training), 1940-43; Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham (general training), 1943-46. Family: Married Leonard Jolley; two daughters and one son. Career: Salesperson, nurse, and domestic, 1960s; part-time tutor in creative writing, Fremantle Arts Centre, Western Australia, from 1974; part-time tutor in English from 1978, writer-in-residence, 1982, and since 1984 half-time tutor in English, Western Australian Institute of Technology, Bentley; writer-in-residence, Scarborough Senior High School, Winter 1980, and Western Australian College of Advanced Education, Nedlands, 1983; half-time lecturer and writer-in-residence from 1986, and honorary writer-in-residence, from 1989, Curtin University of Technology, Perth, Western Australia. Lives in Claremont, Western Australia. Awards: State of Victoria prize, for short story, 1966, 1981, 1982; Sound Stage prize, for radio play, 1975; Wieckhard prize. 1975; Australian Writers Guild prize, for radio play, 1982; Western Australia Week prize, 1983; The Age Book of the Year award, 1983, 1989; Australia Council Literature Board senior fellowship, 1984; New South Wales Premier's award, 1985; Australian Bicentennial National Literary award, 1986; Miles Franklin award, 1987; Fellowship of Australian Writers Ramsden plaque, 1988. D.Tech.: Western Australian Institute of Technology, 1986; Canada Australia prize, 1990; ASAL gold medal, for novel, 1991. Officer, Order of Australia, 1988; National Book Council Banjo Award; FAW ANA Literature Award; France-Australian Literary Translation Award. Honorary degrees: Macquarie University, 1995 and The University of Queensland, 1997. Member: Australian Society of Authors, 1985-86 (president).

Publications

Short Stories

Five Acre Virgin and Other Stories. 1976.

The Travelling Entertainer and Other Stories. 1979.

The Newspaper of Claremont Street (novella). 1981.

Woman in a Lampshade. 1983.

Miss Peabody's Inheritance (novella). 1983.

Stories. 1988.

Fellow Passengers. 1997.

Novels

Palomino. 1980.

Mr. Scobie's Riddle. 1983.

Milk and Honey. 1984.

Foxybaby. 1985.

The Well. 1986.

The Sugar Mother. 1988.

My Father's Moon. 1989.

Cabin Fever. 1990.

Central Mischief. 1992.

The Orchard Thieves. 1995.

Plays

Woman in a Lampshade (broadcast 1979). Published in Radio Quartet, 1980.

Radio Plays:

Night Report, 1975; The Performance, 1976; The Shepherd on the Roof, 1977; The Well-Bred Thief, 1977; Woman in a Lampshade, 1979; Two Men Running, 1981; Paper Children, 1988; Little Lewis Has Had a Lovely Sleep, 1990; The Well, 1991; Lorelei in the Wheat, 1993; The Silver Apples of the Moon and Repeat of Lorelei, 1994; The Georges' Wife, 1997.

Other

Travelling Notebook: Literature Notes. 1978.

Central Mischief (essays), edited by Caroline Lurie. 1992.

*

Critical Studies:

articles by Jolley and by Laurie Clancy, in Australian Book Review, November 1983; Helen Garner, in Meanjin 2, 1983; "Between Two Worlds" by A. P. Riemer, in Southerly, 1983; "The Goddess, the Artist, and the Spinster" by Dorothy Jones, in Westerly 4, 1984; Joan Kirkby, in Meanjin 4, 1984; Martin Harrison, in The Age Monthly Review, May 1985; Jolley: New Critical Essays edited by Delys Bird and Brenda Walker, 1991; "Houses and Homes: Elizabeth Jolley's Mr. Scobie's Riddle and Beryl Gilroy's Frangipani House" by Mary Conde, in Framing the Word: Gender and Genre in Caribbean Women's Writing edited by Joan Anim Addo, 1996; "Home Breaking and Making in the Novels of Elizabeth Jolley" by John O'Brien, in Homemaking: Women Writers and the Politics and Poetics of Home edited by Catherine Wiley and Fiona R. Barnes, 1996.

* * *

An English immigrant to Australia, Elizabeth Jolley has emerged as one of the country's best-known contemporary writers of fiction. Born in the English Midlands, she was trained as a nurse. In 1959 she and her husband, a librarian, moved to Australia with their children. She has published a dozen brief novels, three collections of short stories, and a collection of short essays. Her work has been honored with various awards, including the Age Book of the Year Award for Mr. Scobie's Riddle and My Father's Moon, the New South Wales Premier's Award for Milk and Honey, the Miles Franklin Award for The Well, the National Book Council Banjo Award for The Georges' Wife, the FAW ANA Literature Award for Cabin Fever, and the France-Australia Literary Translation Award for The Sugar Mother. Her recent work, The Orchard Thieves, was published in 1995.

Jolley's fiction often centers on female characters who are in lesbian relationships and who live their lives without male companions. One recurrent theme in Jolley's body of work is the liaison between an older and a younger woman. Another theme plays with the author-audience relationship and the process of constructing and deconstructing the text. Jolley's work defies easy categorization, for she straddles the boundaries of the tragic and the comic. Her fiction notes the absurd, the hilarious, and the lonely aspects of human life, and her characters feed upon one another in meeting their needs. In a 1989 interview with Ray Wilbanks in Antipodes, Jolley said, "People take what they need from each other and if they don't have a relationship in one direction they will have it in another direction." While Jolley creates idyllic female worlds in which her characters are free to seek their own partners, her women characters may be trapped into dependency relationships, although her older women generally have economic strength without family attachments.

Jolley's first novel, Palomino (1980), deals with a love affair between Laura, a doctor, and Andrea, a younger woman whom she meets on a cruise. They later retire to Laura's farm. The idyllic affair concludes when Laura decides to preserve the beauty of her love before it dissipates from their differences in age. Jolley's novella The Newspaper of Claremont Street (1981) focuses on Newspaper or Weekly, a cleaning lady who dreams of owning land. Through her diligence she eventually is able to buy a plot, but she is tormented by Nastasya, an unwelcome companion. The narrative turns to violence when Weekly arranges for Nastasya's death to save her privacy.

Jolley's novella The Well (1986) repeats the older/younger female relationship first developed in Palomino and includes violence as well. Hester Harper, a middle-aged spinster, lives an isolated life in the outback with Katherine, an adolescent orphan she takes in. Fearing to lose Katherine when a friend plans to visit, Hester plunges into a fit of anxiety. The novel centers around acquisitiveness and pleasure as the women indulge their whims. Hester's obsession with Katherine blinds her to the world outside and threatens her financial security.

When Katherine, slightly tipsy, hits a man with the car, Hester deposits the body in the well. To protect Katherine, Hester feigns normality, but, according to Katherine, the body in the well is alive and wants to marry her. Jolley develops suspense and ambiguity by leaving open the possibility of more than one interpretation of the incident. Her narrative method is open-ended as she holds forth the promise of Hester retelling the same story or a new story. Truth and fiction overlap as Jolley uses Hester in the role of a storyteller at the end of the novella.

In the novella Miss Peabody's Inheritance (1983) the title character stays at home to take care of her sick mother. Through a lively correspondence with the novelist Diana Hopewell, Miss Peabody's life and the author's become blurred as they tell each other their stories. When the author dies, Miss Peabody replaces her by "inheriting" her novel. Thus, the author and reader roles are reversed. In the work Foxybaby, which again contemplates the problems of fiction writers, Jolley tells of Miss Alma Porch, who uses her current manuscript in a course at Trinity College. Here Jolley reiterates the subject of author and audience, exploring the limits of their relationship. The boundary between dream and reality disappears, leading Miss Porch to wonder if her life is a fiction.

Besides the female relationships revealed in a number of her works, Jolley engages the reader by her excursions into black comedy. The Sugar Mother (1988) treats the story of Edwin, a professor whose spouse Cecilia goes off on a fellowship, leaving him at the mercy of neighbors who manipulate him into taking the daughter, Leila, as a lover. When Leila bears a child, Edwin tries to conceal the affair from his friends. At the end, without a resolution to his situation, he awaits the return of his wife. The novel is comic, nightmarish, and bizarre.

Jolley's first short stories were compiled Five Acre Virgin and The Travelling Entertainer. Six stories in Five Acre Virgin deal with the Morgan family. The ironies of life appear in stories like "Five Acre Virgin," in which the protagonist, a cleaning lady, invites her friends along to see the homes of the wealthy and then ends up in jail, or in "'Suprise! Surprise!' from Matron," in which a centenarian who always desired to find a honey-filled tree and never did celebrates her birthday, while Donald (the Doll) and Fingertips win the Fern Hospital for the Aged by playing poker. Another hospital story, "A New World," features an elderly gentleman (number 14) who gives his food to number 12. The solitude of a lonely woman is revealed in "The Shepherd on the Roof" when she refers to her unhappy marriage.

Another collection of short stories, Woman in a Lampshade, also uses a hospital setting. In "Hilda's Wedding" the nurse-narrator manages to marry off the maid Hilda in a bizarre ceremony arranged by the night staff. After the ceremony Hilda goes into labor in the elevator. While the premise of the story is absurd, it is matched by odd characters such as Sister Bean, a presumed witch. "Paper Children," another story from the collection, tells of Clara Schultz, a gynecologist who fantasizes about traveling from Vienna to Australia, where her daughter and son-in-law live on a farm, but they die in a car accident in Clara's final "dream." Although the Viennese world of Clara appears to be refined, there is an underlying horror revealed in the suicide of Clara's husband, a Hebraic scholar who cannot face the idea of persecution in the 1930s.

In her short stories and novellas Jolley creates funny but sad characters. The tragic and the comic fuse in her writings, which often have a dark side. With an eye for the absurd and the peculiar, Jolley uses the storytelling techniques of wit, irony, suspense, and ambiguity. Where the author unnerves her reader is in her refusal to present only male-dominated worlds. She examines the possibilities of female relationships, sexual or asexual, and female utopias. The claustrophobia, destructiveness, and selfishness of some of the relationships lead to the conclusion that they fail to enhance human potential. Jolley, however, offers no overarching philosophy or worldview to answer the dilemmas of human existence. Instead, she extends her narratives through her open-ended techniques, and her fiction poses no easy resolution for the reader. As a contemporary Australian writer and postmodernist, Jolley creates fiction that is wide-ranging in scope and that eludes simple categorization.

—Shirley J. Paolini

See the essay on "Grasshoppers."

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Jolley, (Monica) Elizabeth

JOLLEY, (Monica) Elizabeth

JOLLEY, (Monica) Elizabeth. Australian (born England), b. 1923. Genres: Novels, Novellas/Short stories. Career: Part-time Tutor in English, Fremantle Arts Centre, Western Australia, since 1974. Writer-in-Residence, The Curtin University of Technology Perth (formerly Western Australian Institute of Technology), Bentley, since 1982. Publications: NOVELS: Palomino, 1980; The Newspaper of Claremont Street, 1981; Mr. Scobie's Riddle, 1983; Miss Peabody's Inheritance, 1983; Milk and Honey, 1984; Foxybaby, 1985; The Well, 1986; The Sugar Mother, 1988; My Father's Moon, 1989; Cabin Fever, 1990; The Georges' Wife, 1993; The Orchard Thieves, 1995. STORIES: Five Acre Virgin and Other Stories, 1976; The Travelling Entertainer and Other Stories, 1979; Woman in a Lampshade (short story), 1983; Stories, 1984. OTHER: Central Mischief (autobiographical essays), 1992; Diary of a Weekend Farmer (diary and poems), 1993; Off the Air: 9 Radio Plays, 1995. Address: 28 Agett Rd, Claremont, WA 6010, Australia.

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