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Lilian'S Story


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Winner of the 1994 Australian/Vogel Literary Award

About the Author

Kate Grenville was born in Sydney and worked in the film industry after graduating from university. She lived and travelled in Europe and the United States for several years and has a Masters degree in Creative Writing from the University of Colorado. Since 1982 she has again been living in Australia where she is regarded with affection and respect as one of our most talented writers. Lilian'S Story won the Australian/Vogel Award in 1984. Kate Grenville is also the author of Bearded Ladies, Dreamhouse and Joan Makes History, as well as of the non-fiction works, The Writing Book and Making Stories with Sue Woolfe. Kate Grenville has two young children and continues to write fiction.


Narrator Lilian grows up in a troubled household (her mother is afflicted by vapors and her pseudo-intellectual father tries to force himself on her sexually). ``Lilian's story often has the quality of a dream recounted while the dreamer is half asleep, which alone is a remarkable achievement,'' PW found. (November)

In this first novel Grenville chronicles the life of Lil Sanger from her childhood in Australia in the early 1900s to her death. An imaginative loner as a child, Lil becomes increasingly alienated from her family and friends as she becomes a young woman. Lacking prospects for marriage because of her eccentricity and excessive weight, Lil enrolls briefly as a university student, but a violent incident with her father leads him to commit her to an insane asylum. Lil is eventually removed from the asylum by her aunt, who ends up supporting her. Grenville tries admirably to render Lil as a free spirit who chooses to live apart from ``normal'' society, but despite her good writing the result is unconvincing. Winner of the Australian/Vogel Award. Lucinda Ann Peck, Learning Design Associates, Gahanna, Ohio

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