Ann-Marie Priest - A Free Flame

Thursday 08 March 2018
6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
In store at Avid Reader Bookshop
Tickets $7.50
Tickets available until 08 March 2018 6:00 PM

This event commences at 6.30pm. Printed tickets are not issued and your booking will be on a door list under your surname.

Join ABC Radio Brisbane's Rhianna Patrick this International Women's Day where she is in-conversation with author Ann-Marie Priest discussing A Free Flame: Australian Women Writers and Vocation in the Twentieth Century. 

‘I need to be a writer,’ Ruth Park told her future husband, D’Arcy Niland, on the eve of their marriage. ‘That’s what I need from life.’

She was not the only one. At a time when women were considered incapable of being ‘real’ artists, a number of precocious girls in Australian cities were weighing their chances and laying their plans.

A Free Flame explores the lives of four such women, Gwen Harwood, Dorothy Hewett, Christina Stead, and Ruth Park, each of whom went on to become a notable Australian writer. They were very different women from very different backgrounds, but they shared a sense of urgency around their vocation — their ‘need’ to be a writer — that would not let them rest.

Weaving biography, literary criticism, and cultural history, this book looks at the ways in which these women laid siege to the artist’s identity, and ultimately remade it in their own image.

Ann-Marie Priest teaches literature at Central Queensland University in Rockhampton. She is the author of Great Writers, Great Loves: The Reinvention of Love in the Twentieth Century, and has published essays on Gwen Harwood and Christina Stead, as well as on Virginia Woolf, Henry James, French feminist thought and Christian mysticism. Her book manuscript on the role of vocation in the lives of Australian women writers, A Free Flame, was highly commended for the 2016 Dorothy Hewett Award.

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