THEY are two of the biggest names in WA literature, but if not for fate, hard work and persistence, the works of Elizabeth Jolley and T.A.G. Hungerford might never have come to be.
Jolley was 53 when her first of 15 novels was published, a ‘yes’ from a publisher that finally came after scores of rejections, including 39 in one year alone.
Tom Arthur Guy Hungerford made his name chronicling his life growing up in South Perth during the Great Depression, but his writings came after service with the Australian Army in World War II and a stint as Billy Hughes’ press secretary.
Both have links to the Fremantle area, Jolley receiving her first publishing contract from Fremantle Press and Hungerford having a local prestigious biennial literary award named after him.
Fremantle Press will honour the contribution the authors have made to WA literature by republishing special editions of two of their biggest works as part of the publishing house’s 40th anniversary celebrations.
Jolley’s The Newspaper of Claremont Street and Hungerford’s Stories from Suburban Road will be the first two special editions published in the Treasure series.
Fremantle Press editor Naama Amram said they were looking to publish two titles from their backlist each year for the series, but there were no two authors better to kick it off than Jolley and Hungerford.
“The characters driving Jolley’s fiction are eccentric and utterly compelling and her stories are deceptively simple,” she said.
“The Newspaper of Claremont Street is a story about a house cleaner in the western suburbs, but it is also a story about the dark secrets the suburbs hold.
“In contrast, Hungerford’s autobiographical writing is very much of a time and place.
“Stories from Suburban Road recounts Hungerford’s childhood in Perth of the 1920s and 1930s and they are a fascinating record of the times told through the eyes of an inquisitive, adventurous boy.”
Amram said readers could expect everything from eccentricity, humour, wit and
d450053a warmth to nostalgia from the stories.
“These new hardback editions are beautiful, collectable objects in themselves,” she said.
“Each cover was lovingly hand-drawn by our local designers.
“In the age of eBooks, there is something very special about a beautifully designed physical book.
“These special editions of much-loved Australian stories will be a treasure for those who know them and a treat for new readers.”
The covers were created by designers Mitchell and Dent.
The Newspaper of Claremont Street and Stories from Suburban Road are available from www.fremantlepress.com.au.
Naama Amram, of Fremantle Press, and Angela Mitchell from Mitchell and Dent with the new books.