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The Unknown Judith Wright
Judith Wright (1915–2000) remains a giant figure within Australian art, culture and politics. Her 1946 collection of poetry, The Moving Image, revolutionised Australian poetry. She helped to establish the modern Australian environmental movement and was a key player in early campaigns for Aboriginal land rights. A friend and confidante of artists, writers, scholars, activists and policy makers – she remains an inspiration to many. And yet, as Georgina Arnott is able to show in this major new work, the biographical picture we have had of this renowned poet-activist has been very much a partial one.
This book presents a more human figure than we have previously seen, and concentrates on Wright’s younger years. New material allows us to hear, directly, thrillingly, the feisty voice of a young Judith Wright and forces us to reconsider the woman we thought we knew.
Praise for The Unknown Judith Wright:
In 2015 when I heard about a new Wright biography I was excited, but also suspicious of the hype suggested in the proposed title: The Unknown Judith Wright. Georgina Arnott, however, is an exemplar historian. She not only delivers on the book’s marketing buildup, but judicially positions her own text not as replacement but as essential companion to the biographies that have come before.PHILLIP HALL, CORDITE POETRY REVIEW
The Unknown Judith Wright is the sort of book we need more of – a carefully researched account of an Australian writer that sheds new light on their life while not setting out to tear them down, bringing together in one author the skills of the historian and the literary critic.