The great Australian novelist Christina Stead, best known for The Man Who Loved Children is the subject of a public lecture and a research symposium at UWA soon.
Stead (1902 – 1983), a lifelong Marxist, grew up in Sydney but spent much of her life overseas. Her 14 novels gave her a reputation for penetrating psychological characterisations and wit.
Through the Institute of Advanced Studies (IAS), Stead and her work will be the subject of a lecture by Louise Adler, CEO and Publisher-in-Chief at Melbourne University Publishing (MUP).
In 2010, MUP acquired the rights to a collection of Stead’s titles and Louise Adler will discuss the decision to re-issue Stead’s remarkable literary oeuvre for a new generation of readers.
Louise Adler is one of the most significant figures in contemporary Australian publishing. She has been editor of the Australian Book Review, arts and entertainment editor for The Melbourne Age and presenter of ABC Radio National’s Arts Today.
Her lecture, “Re-Reading Christina Stead” is at 6pm on Thursday 22 November in the Webb Lecture Theatre.
The following day, the symposium, “Christina Stead and Literary Ownership” will be held from 9.30am at the University Club, Seminar Room 1. Convened by Chair of Australian Literature, Winthrop Professor Philip Mead, and associate director of the IAS, Susan Takao, the symposium will analyse the status of Australian writers such as Stead in relation to the greater world of literature.
It will also explore the ‘unofficial’ aspects of literary proprietorship including ownership of and rights in archives, biography and letters.
Speakers come from around Australia as well as from New York, where Stead taught in the 1940s and worked as a Hollywood screenwriter. Register online before 16 November.
Published in UWA News, 15 October 2012