Review of Barbara Hanrahan: A Biography, by Annette Stewart


Barbara Hanrahan was forty-eight years old when she noted in her diary of 6 August 1988 that she had received a letter from Annette Stewart, an academic at the University of New England, proposing a book about her writing and prints. Clearly, she was excited that her work would be given serious public attention. Yet it took ten years for Stewart's critical study of Hanrahan's works, Woman and Herself, to be published by the University of Queensland Press, and twenty-two years for this biography to appear. Hanrahan herself had second thoughts about the project, and her premature death in December 1991 denied Stewart the opportunity of talking with her and securing her cooperation. It cannot be said, however, that this is an unauthorised biography, given Hanrahan's mother's agreement to be interviewed and the participation of Hanrahan's partner, Jo Steele, particularly in allowing access to the diaries and sanctioning the colour reproduction of twenty-four of Hanrahan's prints.

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Published 1 October 2010 in Volume 25 No. 3. Subjects: Australian fiction, Biographies, Barbara Hanrahan.

Cite as: Lindsay, Elaine. ‘Review of Barbara Hanrahan: A Biography, by Annette Stewart.’ Australian Literary Studies, vol. 25, no. 3, 2010, doi: 10.20314/als.ea8a01f7f9.