Memoir THE HOUSE OF FICTION SUSAN SWINGLER, FREMANTLE PRESS, $24.95
Devoted readers of Elizabeth Jolley had always sensed a high degree of the autobiographical in her fiction, particularly in the Vera Wright trilogy and then in the two last novels. This feeling was later substantiated first by Jolley herself in various essays and talks ( Central Mischief and Learning to Dance) and then by Brian Dibble in his authorised biography, Doing Life (2008). The focus of such personal illumination, however, tends to be either back into Jolley’s childhood and the relationship with and between her parents and her mother’s Gentleman Friend, Mr Berrington, or towards the identification of Jolley herself with Vera Wright, “the Georges’ Wife” who shares a home with a married couple and bears the husband’s child.
Susan Swingler was born five weeks after that real-life child and for some weeks Leonard Jolley, his wife Joyce, his one-time nurse Monica Knight (soon to take up her second name, Elizabeth) and