(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
(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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