Curtin University Emeritus Professor Brian Dibble’s book Doing Life: A Biography of Elizabeth Jolley has been short-listed for the Prime Minister’s Literary Award for Non-Fiction, $100,000 for a book in the Non-Fiction category.
Professor Dibble, who established the Australia’s first creative writing course in the 1970s, invited Elizabeth Jolley to teach in the program. They worked together for more than 30 years.
‘I asked Elizabeth to work with us not only because she was an exceptional writer but because I thought she would make a good teacher,’ Professor Dibble said.
Many of Jolley’s students went on to successful writing careers, winning the Miles Franklin Award, the Australian/Vogel Prize and more than two dozen WA Premier’s Literary Awards, Tim Winton being most prominent among them.
Professor Dibble also said that, whether or not the book won the prize, its being short-listed for the PMLA would draw attention to the life and works of Elizabeth Jolley.
‘She was an esteemed writer much beloved by many readers. The attention currently focused on the book should encourage still others to enjoy her work,’ he said.