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y separately published work icon Thea Astley : Inventing Her Own Weather single work   biography  
Issue Details: First known date: 2015... 2015 Thea Astley : Inventing Her Own Weather
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'Thea Astley: Inventing Her Own Weather is the long-overdue biography of Australian author Thea Astley (1925–2004). Over a fifty-year writing career, Astley published more than a dozen novels and short story collections, including The Acolyte, The Slow Natives and, finally, Drylands in 1999. She was the first person to win multiple Miles Franklin awards – she won four. With many of her works published internationally, Astley was a trailblazer for women writers. In her personal life, she was renowned for her dry wit, eccentricity and compassion.

'Karen Lamb has drawn on an unparalleled range of interviews and correspondence to create a detailed picture of Thea the woman, as well as Astley the writer. She has sought to understand Astley's private world and how that shaped the distinctive body of work that is Thea Astley's literary legacy.'

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

Other Formats

  • Also large print; sound recording

Works about this Work

Will the Real Subject Please Stand Up? Autobiographical Voices in Biography Karen Lamb , 2021 single work criticism
— Appears in: Life Writing , vol. 18 no. 1 2021; (p. 25-30)

'Biographers exist in a tight partnership with their chosen subject and there is often during the research and writing an equivalent reflective personal journey for the biographer. This is generally obscured, buried among an overwhelming magnitude of sources while the biographer is simultaneously developing the all-important ‘relationship’ required to sustain the narrative journey ahead. Questions and selections beset the biographer, usually about access to, or veracity of, sources but perhaps there are more personal questions that could be put to the biographer. The many works on the craft of biography or collections about the life-writing journey tell only some of this tale. It is not often enough, however, that we acknowledge how biography can be unusually ‘double-voiced’ in communicating a strong sense of the teller in the tale: the biographer’s own life experience usually does lead them to the biography, but also influences the shaping of the work. These are still ‘tales of craft’ in one sense, but autobiographical reflections in another. Perhaps this very personal insight can only be attempted in the ‘afterlife’ of biography; the quiet moments and years that follow such consuming works. In this article, I reflect on this unusually emotional form of life writing.' (Publication abstract)

[Review Essay] The Fiction of Thea Astley Elaine Lindsay , 2017 single work essay
— Appears in: Journal of Australian Studies , May vol. 41 no. 2 2017; (p. 268-269)
'Thea Astley published sixteen novels and collections of short stories between 1958 and 1999. She died in 2004, a week ahead of her eightieth birthday, but she blazes again, in all her fiercely compassionate crankiness, in Susan Sheridan’s analysis of her fictions and in Karen Lamb's biography, Inventing Her Own Weather (2015). These two books—Sheridan on the work and Lamb on the life—are essential companions for a full appreciation of Astley and, more generally, twentieth-century Australian literary culture.' (Introduction)
[Review] Thea Astley : Inventing Her Own Weather Paul Genoni , 2016 single work review
— Appears in: JASAL , vol. 16 no. 1 2016;

— Review of Thea Astley : Inventing Her Own Weather Karen Lamb , 2015 single work biography
Top Biographies Battle for $25,000 National Prize Susan Wyndham , 2016 single work column
— Appears in: The Age , 5 July 2016; (p. 10)
Biography is a growing genre in Australian writing and, according to historian Peter Cochrane, that is a sign of a healthy society.
Three Biographies Kate Livett , 2016 single work review
— Appears in: Southerly , vol. 75 no. 2 2016; (p. 268-270)

— Review of Thea Astley : Inventing Her Own Weather Karen Lamb , 2015 single work biography ; One Life : My Mother's Story Kate Grenville , 2015 single work biography ; Wild Bleak Bohemia : Marcus Clarke, Adam Lindsay Gordon and Henry Kendall - A Documentary Michael Wilding , 2014 single work biography
Review : Thea Astley : Inventing Her Own Weather Chris Harrington , 2015 single work review
— Appears in: Books + Publishing , vol. 94 no. 3 2015; (p. 24)

— Review of Thea Astley : Inventing Her Own Weather Karen Lamb , 2015 single work biography
A Genius Who Confronted Her Readers A Fine Portrait of a Literary Genius Debra Adelaide , 2015 single work review
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 16-17 May 2015; (p. 30) The Canberra Times , 16 May 2015; (p. 15) The Saturday Age , 16-17 May 2015; (p. 26)

— Review of Thea Astley : Inventing Her Own Weather Karen Lamb , 2015 single work biography
Portrait of a Private Lady Phil Brown , 2015 single work review
— Appears in: The Courier-Mail , 16 May 2015; (p. 18)

— Review of Thea Astley : Inventing Her Own Weather Karen Lamb , 2015 single work biography
Glorious Paradox Geordie Williamson , 2015 single work review
— Appears in: The Weekend Australian , 13-14 June 2015; (p. 16-17)

— Review of Thea Astley : Inventing Her Own Weather Karen Lamb , 2015 single work biography
Karen Lamb : Thea Astley: Inventing Her Own Weather Suzanne Marks , 2015 single work review
— Appears in: The Newtown Review of Books , June 2015;

— Review of Thea Astley : Inventing Her Own Weather Karen Lamb , 2015 single work biography
Top Biographies Battle for $25,000 National Prize Susan Wyndham , 2016 single work column
— Appears in: The Age , 5 July 2016; (p. 10)
Biography is a growing genre in Australian writing and, according to historian Peter Cochrane, that is a sign of a healthy society.
[Review Essay] The Fiction of Thea Astley Elaine Lindsay , 2017 single work essay
— Appears in: Journal of Australian Studies , May vol. 41 no. 2 2017; (p. 268-269)
'Thea Astley published sixteen novels and collections of short stories between 1958 and 1999. She died in 2004, a week ahead of her eightieth birthday, but she blazes again, in all her fiercely compassionate crankiness, in Susan Sheridan’s analysis of her fictions and in Karen Lamb's biography, Inventing Her Own Weather (2015). These two books—Sheridan on the work and Lamb on the life—are essential companions for a full appreciation of Astley and, more generally, twentieth-century Australian literary culture.' (Introduction)
Will the Real Subject Please Stand Up? Autobiographical Voices in Biography Karen Lamb , 2021 single work criticism
— Appears in: Life Writing , vol. 18 no. 1 2021; (p. 25-30)

'Biographers exist in a tight partnership with their chosen subject and there is often during the research and writing an equivalent reflective personal journey for the biographer. This is generally obscured, buried among an overwhelming magnitude of sources while the biographer is simultaneously developing the all-important ‘relationship’ required to sustain the narrative journey ahead. Questions and selections beset the biographer, usually about access to, or veracity of, sources but perhaps there are more personal questions that could be put to the biographer. The many works on the craft of biography or collections about the life-writing journey tell only some of this tale. It is not often enough, however, that we acknowledge how biography can be unusually ‘double-voiced’ in communicating a strong sense of the teller in the tale: the biographer’s own life experience usually does lead them to the biography, but also influences the shaping of the work. These are still ‘tales of craft’ in one sense, but autobiographical reflections in another. Perhaps this very personal insight can only be attempted in the ‘afterlife’ of biography; the quiet moments and years that follow such consuming works. In this article, I reflect on this unusually emotional form of life writing.' (Publication abstract)

Last amended 17 Oct 2016 13:08:52
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