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Elizabeth Jolley (1923–2007)

Author of The Well

Includes the names: JOLLEY E, Jolley Elizabeth

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Monica Elizabeth Knight was born in Birmingham, England, to an English father and Austrian-born mother. She was educated privately at home until age 11, when she attended the Sibford School, a Quaker boarding school in Oxfordshire. She trained as a nurse during World War II. She married Leonard Jolley, with whom she had three children. In 1959, the family emigrated to Australia for her husband's job as chief librarian at the Reid Library at the University of Western Australia. As Elizabeth Jolley, she won the State of Victoria competition for short stories in 1966, and some of her stories were accepted by the BBC World Service and Australian journals; but she did not publish her first novel, Five Acre Virgin (1976) until she was 53 years old. She became one of Australia's most celebrated writers, with later works including the novels Miss Peabody’s Inheritance (1979), The Newspaper of Claremont (1981), and The Well (1986) which won the Miles Franklin Award. She also wrote nonfiction and the semi-autobiographical trilogy My Father’s Moon (1989), Cabin Fever (1990), and The Georges’ Wife (1993). Elizabeth Jolley lectured in creative writing at the Curtin University in Perth from 1978 to 1988.
The Melbourne Writers Festival established the Elizabeth Jolley Lecture in her honor.
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