The Shelf Life of Zora Cross

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State Library of New South Wales

Metcalfe Auditorium, Ground Floor

Macquarie Street

Sydney, NSW 2000

Australia

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The Shelf Life of Zora Cross

Cathy Perkins in conversation with Sarah Morley

Australian poet and journalist Zora Cross caused a sensation in 1917 with her book Songs of Love and Life. Here was a young woman, who looked like a Sunday school teacher, celebrating sexual passion in a provocative series of sonnets. She was hailed as a genius, and many expected her to endure as a household name alongside Shakespeare and Rossetti.

While Cross’s fame didn’t last, she kept writing through financial hardship, personal tragedies and two world wars, producing a remarkable body of work. Her verse, prose and correspondence with the likes of Ethel Turner, George Robertson (of Angus & Robertson) and Mary Gilmore place Zora Cross among the key personalities of Australia’s literary world in the early twentieth century.

Cathy Perkins will talk about her new biography, The Shelf Life of Zora Cross (Monash University Publishing, November 2019), in conversation with Curator Sarah Morley. They will discuss the pleasures and challenges of biography, and why Zora Cross was such a satisfying subject.

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State Library of New South Wales

Metcalfe Auditorium, Ground Floor

Macquarie Street

Sydney, NSW 2000

Australia

View Map

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