This internet browser is outdated and does not support all features of this site. Please switch or upgrade to a different browser to display this site properly.

The Centenary of Elizabeth Jolley: Legacy of a Curtin Literary Great exhibition now on!

Copy Link
Writer Elizabeth Jolley in Curtin regalia

Our new exhibition celebrates the centenary of Elizabeth Jolley, showcasing our unique collection of items related to her life and literary works, and honouring her deep connections to Curtin University. Elizabeth Jolley, who died in 2007, would have turned one hundred on 4 June 2023.

Elizabeth Jolley was a giant of Australian literature in the 1980s and 1990s, a critically acclaimed, bestselling author of quirky novels which combined ‘mirth and malice’. Her first book was not published until she was 53, but over the next 25 years she published over twenty books, includingthe 1986 winner of the prestigious Miles Franklin Award, The Well. Jolley taught creative writing at the Western Australian Institute of Technology (which became Curtin University) from the late 1970s, and her legacy is recognised on campus through the naming of the Elizabeth Jolley Lecture Theatre. In 1987 she was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Technology and in 1998 she was appointed Professor of Creative Writing.

Highlights of the exhibition include:

  • Quirky notes Elizabeth Jolley wrote to her typist of forty years, Nancy McKenzie, with whom the library recorded an oral history interview for the centenary.
  • A plate Jolley painted for a charity auction in the 1990s.
  • Jolley’s academic bonnet, worn for the presentation of her WAIT honorary doctorate.
  • Rare editions of Jolley’s books, including foreign language translations.
  • A film poster, theatre tickets, and reviews annotated in Jolley’s hand, all collected by Curtin academics Brian Dibble and Barbara Milech as part of their comprehensive Elizabeth Jolley Research Collection, developed over decades and now held as a Library Special Collection.

Visit the exhibition on level 3 of TL Robertson Library (Building 105) until the end of August, or follow our weekly blog posts on the Library blog.

This exhibition is presented by Curtin University Library with the generous support of University Archives, who have loaned many items for the event.

Copy Link