'Sharply observed, bitter and humorous, The Long Prospect is a story of life in an Australian industrial town.
'Growing up neglected in a seedy boarding house, twelve-year-old Emily Lawrence befriends Max, a middle-aged scientist who encourages her to pursue her intellectual interests. Innocent Emily will face scandal, suburban snobbery and psychological torment.' (Publication summary : Text Classics)
'The opening sentence of the first short story Elizabeth Harrower ever completed 3 plunges the reader into a dramatic meteorological event:
And then, as if the lightning that ripped the sky apart wasn’t enough, the lights round the edge of the swimming pool, and even the three big ones sunk into it on cement piles, went out. At once the solid blackness rang with shrieks and laughter; only Janet was struck dumb to find that she had been obliterated. It was like nothing so much as that astronomical darkness into which she had been plunged last year when they took out her tonsils. (Introduction)
'Elizabeth Harrower’s third novel, The Catherine Wheel (1960) – the only one set outside Australia – begins with an example of what Jon Hegglund terms modernist “metageography”: that is, a use of maps and the conventions of cartographic representation in such a way as to defamiliarise the social production of space, and of national and personal identity. 1 Clemency James, a young Australian woman, has come to London in the late 1950s to study for the bar, and as she returns to her bedsitting room from a shopping trip to Notting Hill Gate, she takes her bearings from a weather report that locates London in relation to the landmass of hemispheric Europe:
“The wind from Siberia as announced by the BBC came down Bayswater Road from the direction of Marble Arch somewhere in a straight line beyond which, half a world away, Siberia was taken to be”. 2 Zooming in to a local scale, Clem locates her “centre of the universe” (3) in a boarding house just off Bayswater Road: Across the road the enigmatic façades of a row of semi-public buildings ended where the railings of Kensington Gardens began. Just opposite this corner of the gardens Miss Evans had her service-house, and it was here I had a room with a diagonal view of bare black avenues and paths and empty seats and grass. (4)' (Introduction)
'Elizabeth Harrower, renowned writer, speaks about the inspiration behind her writing and who influenced her the most. Harrower also elaborates on some of her novels and the meaning behind them.' (Introduction)