Vale Elizabeth Harrower

Elizabeth Harrower

Rochford Street Review notes with sadness the recent death of novelist Elizabeth Harrower. Harrower was born in 1928 in Sydney but spent most of her youth in Newcastle. Her first novel, Down in the City, was published in 1957 and her second, The Long Prospect, was published two years later. Both were written while she was living in England. The Catherine Wheel, which was set in London, appeared in 1960 after she had returned to Australia and The Watch Tower was published in 1966. She withdraw her final novel, In Certain Circles, after it was accepted for publication. At the time she claimed in a number of interviews that she did this as she felt the manuscript “seemed wrought, manipulated, not organic”. It appears, however, that this reaction may have been in response to a “sniffily condescending reader’s report” from her publisher (Macmillan). Following this, with the exception of a number of short stories that were later collected in A Few Days in the Country, Harrow basically gave up writing.

By the turn of the century all her work was out of print and difficult to find. Michael Heyward from Text publishing, however, convinced her to republish the novels. This eventually included In Certain Circles in 2014. 


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