Katharine Susannah Prichard in the 1940s and 1950s

Australian Women Writers Gen 3 Week, Part II, 17-23 Jan. 2021


Nathan Hobby’s biography of Katharine Susannah Prichard, with the working title The Red Witch, is due out from MUP later this year. While completing his PhD with the very meta topic of writing about writing a biog of KSP, he was a frequent blogger. Getting the book finished and being the stay at home father to two young children slowed him down a bit, but let’s hope as the nappy haze dissipates we see him back here more often.

Nathan Hobby, a biographer in Perth Nathan Hobby

Katharine Susannah Prichard spent the 1940s working on her Western Australian goldfields trilogy, which finally appeared as The Roaring Nineties (1946), Golden Miles (1948), and Winged Seeds (1950). It’s a saga that tells the story of the development of the goldfields through the fortunes of one family, and interwoven with folklore, historical events, and technical descriptions. It is Katharine’s attempt at writing faithful to her communist convictions … Read on …

6 thoughts on “Katharine Susannah Prichard in the 1940s and 1950s

  1. Does Hobby know Prichard? Throughout his blog post, he refers to her as Katherine. Doing so drives me a bit batty, as women writers tend to get the first-name treatment while male writers get the last name honorific. Maybe it is part of that nappy haze you mentioned.


    • Nathan knows KSP pretty well. He’s been living in her shadow for more than a decade as far as I know, reading her, reading about her, walking the places she’s walked, staying in her house – that’s her study window at the top of his post – it’s a writers’ centre now; imagining being her, writing, writing, writing about her, talking us through the process of writing in his blog.
      We’ve discussed Can a man write the biography of a woman? right here. I guess we’ll discuss it again when Nathan’s biography of KSP is published later this year.


  2. I was a bit sorry not to read her for this event, because I’d glommed onto the idea early on. However, I still have the trilogy on my shelves and will enjoy it in time. Meanwhile, I absolutely loved the Eleanor Dark novel, which felt like really good timing for various themes. When I do get to Prichard, I’ll come back here and look for more!


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