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Image courtesy of publisher's website.
y separately published work icon The Drover's Wife : The Legend of Molly Johnson single work   novel   historical fiction  
Adaptation of The Drover's Wife Leah Purcell , 2016 single work drama
Issue Details: First known date: 2019... 2019 The Drover's Wife : The Legend of Molly Johnson
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'Deep in the heart of Australia’s high country, along an ancient, hidden track, lives Molly Johnson and her four surviving children, another on the way. Husband Joe is away months at a time droving livestock up north, leaving his family in the bush to fend for itself. Molly’s children are her world, and life is hard and precarious with only their dog, Alligator, and a shotgun for protection – but it can be harder when Joe’s around.

'At just twelve years of age Molly’s eldest son Danny is the true man of the house, determined to see his mother and siblings safe – from raging floodwaters, hunger and intruders, man and reptile. Danny is mature beyond his years, but there are some things no child should see. He knows more than most just what it takes to be a drover’s wife.

'One night under the moon’s watch, Molly has a visitor of a different kind – a black ‘story keeper’, Yadaka. He’s on the run from authorities in the nearby town, and exchanges kindness for shelter. Both know that justice in this nation caught between two worlds can be as brutal as its landscape. But in their short time together, Yadaka shows Molly a secret truth, and the strength to imagine a different path.'

Source: Publisher's blurb.

Exhibitions

19730740
19567105
20780037
18667821

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

    • Camberwell, Camberwell - Kew area, Melbourne - Inner South, Melbourne, Victoria,: Hamish Hamilton , 2019 .
      image of person or book cover 243896669293501325.jpg
      Image courtesy of publisher's website.
      Extent: 192p.p.
      Note/s:
      • Published 3 December 2019.
      ISBN: 9780143791478 (trade pbk), 9781760144265 (ebk)
    • Melbourne, Victoria,: Penguin , 2021 .
      image of person or book cover 4387035887611943655.jpg
      This image has been sourced from online.
      Extent: 288p.
      Note/s:
      • Published: 20 July 2021
      ISBN: 9781761041938

Other Formats

  • Sound recording.
  • Large print.

Works about this Work

y separately published work icon Leah Purcell : On 'The Drover's Wife' Astrid Edwards (interviewer), Melbourne : Bad Producer Productions , 2020 19325459 2020 single work podcast interview

'Leah Purcell, a proud Goa, Gunggari, Wakka Wakka Murri woman, is a multi-award-winning author, playwright, screenwriter, actor, director and producer.

'The Drover’s Wife was first a play written by and starring Purcell, which premiered at Belvoir St Theatre in late 2016 and swept the board during the 2017 awards season, winning the New South Wales Premier’s Literary Award for Playwriting and Book of the Year, the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for Drama and the Victorian Prize for Literature, the Australian Writers’ Guild Award for Best Stage Work, Major Work and the David Williamson Prize for Excellence in Writing for Australian Theatre, the Helpmann Award for Best Play and Best New Australian Work, and the Sydney–UNESCO City of Film Award.

'In 2019 Leah adapted her play to the novel form in the fictional The Drover's Wife (and we can expect a sequel).

'The feature film adaptation of The Drover’s Wife, written, directed and starring Leah Purcell, is slated for a 2021 release.'

Source: The Garret.

A Name and a Voice for the Drover’s Wife Tessa Wooldridge , 2020 single work column
— Appears in: Thoughts from an Idle Hour 2015-;

'Leah Purcell’s novel The Drover’s Wife: The Legend of Molly Johnson takes Henry Lawson’s 1892 short story of the same name and infuses it with female wisdom and understanding.

'A story originally set in a parched and lifeless terrain is relocated to the fertile country of the Ngarigo people—the high country of the Snowy Mountains. And the ubiquitous ‘wife’ who features in Lawson’s story is, in Purcell’s reimagining, granted a name and a voice and a properly fleshed-out life.'

This column focuses on the significance of names and storytelling in Purcell's novel.

Rewriting Lawson Ellen van Neerven , 2020 single work review
— Appears in: Australian Book Review , March no. 419 2020; (p. 24)

— Review of The Drover's Wife : The Legend of Molly Johnson Leah Purcell , 2019 single work novel

'Leah Purcell has described how her lifelong fascination with Henry Lawson’s iconic 1892 short story provided her with abundant creative ammunition. Her mother read her the story when she was five; it held a special place for them both. ‘I’d say the famous last line: “Ma, I won’t never go drovin ... she’d tear up”.’' (Publication summary)

Leah Purcell : The Drover’s Wife Alison Whittaker , 2020 single work review
— Appears in: The Saturday Paper , 25-31 January 2020;

— Review of The Drover's Wife : The Legend of Molly Johnson Leah Purcell , 2019 single work novel

'You’d be forgiven for thinking that this review is some years late.

'As a playscript, Leah Purcell’s The Drover’s Wife was given its rounds of critical acclaim and awards attention across 2016-17, taking out the Victorian Prize for Literature and the NSW Premier’s Book of the Year, among other ribbons. In this new iteration, titled The Drover’s Wife: The Legend of Molly Johnson, Purcell novelises her brutal and critical reply to Henry Lawson’s 1892 short story, in which an unnamed woman struggles with a snake and four children. Country is the enemy, and the hardened woman a virtue.' (Publication summary)

Leah Purcell on Reinventing The Drover's Wife Three Times: 'I Borrowed and Stole from Each' Paul Daley , 2019 single work column
— Appears in: The Guardian Australia , 22 December 2019;

— Review of The Drover's Wife : The Legend of Molly Johnson Leah Purcell , 2019 single work novel

'The actor, playwright and screenwriter’s first novel solidifies her take on Henry Lawson’s classic: first a play, now a book, soon a film'

(Source : Abstract)

Leah Purcell on Reinventing The Drover's Wife Three Times: 'I Borrowed and Stole from Each' Paul Daley , 2019 single work column
— Appears in: The Guardian Australia , 22 December 2019;

— Review of The Drover's Wife : The Legend of Molly Johnson Leah Purcell , 2019 single work novel

'The actor, playwright and screenwriter’s first novel solidifies her take on Henry Lawson’s classic: first a play, now a book, soon a film'

(Source : Abstract)

Leah Purcell : The Drover’s Wife Alison Whittaker , 2020 single work review
— Appears in: The Saturday Paper , 25-31 January 2020;

— Review of The Drover's Wife : The Legend of Molly Johnson Leah Purcell , 2019 single work novel

'You’d be forgiven for thinking that this review is some years late.

'As a playscript, Leah Purcell’s The Drover’s Wife was given its rounds of critical acclaim and awards attention across 2016-17, taking out the Victorian Prize for Literature and the NSW Premier’s Book of the Year, among other ribbons. In this new iteration, titled The Drover’s Wife: The Legend of Molly Johnson, Purcell novelises her brutal and critical reply to Henry Lawson’s 1892 short story, in which an unnamed woman struggles with a snake and four children. Country is the enemy, and the hardened woman a virtue.' (Publication summary)

Rewriting Lawson Ellen van Neerven , 2020 single work review
— Appears in: Australian Book Review , March no. 419 2020; (p. 24)

— Review of The Drover's Wife : The Legend of Molly Johnson Leah Purcell , 2019 single work novel

'Leah Purcell has described how her lifelong fascination with Henry Lawson’s iconic 1892 short story provided her with abundant creative ammunition. Her mother read her the story when she was five; it held a special place for them both. ‘I’d say the famous last line: “Ma, I won’t never go drovin ... she’d tear up”.’' (Publication summary)

y separately published work icon The Drover's Wife Leah Purcell , Strawberry Hills : Currency Press , 2016 11151204 2016 single work drama

'If anyone can write a full-throttle drama of our colonial past, it’s the indomitable Leah Purcell.

'We all know Henry Lawson’s story of the Drover’s Wife. Her stoic silhouette against an unforgiving landscape, her staring down of the serpent; it’s the frontier myth captured in a few pages. In Leah’s new play the old story gets a very fresh rewrite. Once again the Drover’s Wife is confronted by a threat in her yard, but now it’s a man. He’s bleeding, he’s got secrets, and he’s black. She knows there’s a fugitive wanted for killing whites, and the district is thick with troopers, but something’s holding the Drover’s Wife back from turning this fella in…

'A taut thriller of our pioneering past, with a black sting to the tail, The Drover’s Wife reaches from our nation’s infancy into our complicated present. And best of all, Leah’s playing the Wife herself.' (Publication summary)

y separately published work icon The Drover's Wife : The Legend of Molly Johnson Leah Purcell , Camberwell : Hamish Hamilton , 2019 18076321 2019 single work novel historical fiction

'Deep in the heart of Australia’s high country, along an ancient, hidden track, lives Molly Johnson and her four surviving children, another on the way. Husband Joe is away months at a time droving livestock up north, leaving his family in the bush to fend for itself. Molly’s children are her world, and life is hard and precarious with only their dog, Alligator, and a shotgun for protection – but it can be harder when Joe’s around.

'At just twelve years of age Molly’s eldest son Danny is the true man of the house, determined to see his mother and siblings safe – from raging floodwaters, hunger and intruders, man and reptile. Danny is mature beyond his years, but there are some things no child should see. He knows more than most just what it takes to be a drover’s wife.

'One night under the moon’s watch, Molly has a visitor of a different kind – a black ‘story keeper’, Yadaka. He’s on the run from authorities in the nearby town, and exchanges kindness for shelter. Both know that justice in this nation caught between two worlds can be as brutal as its landscape. But in their short time together, Yadaka shows Molly a secret truth, and the strength to imagine a different path.'

Source: Publisher's blurb.

A Name and a Voice for the Drover’s Wife Tessa Wooldridge , 2020 single work column
— Appears in: Thoughts from an Idle Hour 2015-;

'Leah Purcell’s novel The Drover’s Wife: The Legend of Molly Johnson takes Henry Lawson’s 1892 short story of the same name and infuses it with female wisdom and understanding.

'A story originally set in a parched and lifeless terrain is relocated to the fertile country of the Ngarigo people—the high country of the Snowy Mountains. And the ubiquitous ‘wife’ who features in Lawson’s story is, in Purcell’s reimagining, granted a name and a voice and a properly fleshed-out life.'

This column focuses on the significance of names and storytelling in Purcell's novel.

y separately published work icon Leah Purcell : On 'The Drover's Wife' Astrid Edwards (interviewer), Melbourne : Bad Producer Productions , 2020 19325459 2020 single work podcast interview

'Leah Purcell, a proud Goa, Gunggari, Wakka Wakka Murri woman, is a multi-award-winning author, playwright, screenwriter, actor, director and producer.

'The Drover’s Wife was first a play written by and starring Purcell, which premiered at Belvoir St Theatre in late 2016 and swept the board during the 2017 awards season, winning the New South Wales Premier’s Literary Award for Playwriting and Book of the Year, the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for Drama and the Victorian Prize for Literature, the Australian Writers’ Guild Award for Best Stage Work, Major Work and the David Williamson Prize for Excellence in Writing for Australian Theatre, the Helpmann Award for Best Play and Best New Australian Work, and the Sydney–UNESCO City of Film Award.

'In 2019 Leah adapted her play to the novel form in the fictional The Drover's Wife (and we can expect a sequel).

'The feature film adaptation of The Drover’s Wife, written, directed and starring Leah Purcell, is slated for a 2021 release.'

Source: The Garret.

Last amended 9 Jul 2021 11:06:43
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