Getting Started: The Emergence of Christina Stead’s Early Fiction


Christina Stead had her first two books published in London in 1934. It was an impressive literary debut by what the Bulletin called 'a Sydney girl' (Stead was thirty-two years old at the time!). Christina Stead was then totally unknown as a writer. She had never published in any of the well known literary magazines, only in a student publication in Sydney in the early twenties. She did not move in literary circles or have literary connections. In fact she continued all her life to shy away from that kind of life: 'I know that literary life is just what some people need, it helps many: but my life has been spent in different places... .' She said that she never thought of herself as a professional writer, but at the same time she confessed that what inspired her in her writing was perfection. At least at the beginning of her 'un-professional' career, her ambition seems to have been intense.

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Published 1 October 1987 in Volume 13 No. 2. Subjects: Australian fiction, Australian literature - Manuscripts, Australian women writers, Literary career, Christina Stead.

Cite as: Segerberg, Anita Kristina. ‘Getting Started: The Emergence of Christina Stead’s Early Fiction.’ Australian Literary Studies, vol. 13, no. 2, 1987, doi: 10.20314/als.dc9df58a05.