Col­lectable mem­o­ries

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - YOUR GENERATION -

Jes­sica Nico

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.fre­

Pic­ture: Jon Hew­son

Naama Am­ram, of Fre­man­tle Press, and An­gela Mitchell from Mitchell and Dent with the new books.

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