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Restless Dolly Maunder

Shortlisted for the 2024 Women's Prize for Fiction

Kate Grenville



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Text Publishing Company
18 July 2023

An exquisite portrait of Kate Grenville's complex, conflicted grandmother-a woman Kate feared as a child, and only came to understand in adulthood.

Dolly Maunder was born at the end of the nineteenth century, when society's long-locked doors were starting to creak ajar for women. Growing up in a poor farming family in country New South Wales but clever, energetic and determined, Dolly spent her restless life pushing at those doors.

Most women like her have disappeared from view, remembered only in family photo albums as remote figures in impossible clothes, or maybe for a lemon-pudding recipe handed down through the generations. Restless Dolly Maunder brings one of these women to life as someone we can recognise and whose struggles we can empathise with.

In this compelling new novel, Kate Grenville uses family memories to imagine her way into the life of her grandmother. This is the story of a woman, working her way through a world of limits and obstacles, who was able-if at a cost-to make a life she could call her own. Her battles and triumphs helped to open doors for the women who came after.
Imprint:   Text Publishing Company
Country of Publication:   Australia
Dimensions:   Height: 240mm,  Width: 161mm,  Spine: 29mm
Weight:   487g
ISBN:   9781922790330
ISBN 10:   1922790338
Pages:   304
Publication Date:  
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Hardback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Kate Grenville is one of Australia's most celebrated writers. Her international bestseller The Secret River was awarded local and overseas prizes, has been adapted for the stage and as an acclaimed television miniseries, and is now a much-loved classic. Grenville's other novels include Sarah Thornhill, The Lieutenant, Dark Places and the Orange Prize winner The Idea of Perfection. Her recent non-fiction includes One Life- My Mother's Story, The Case Against Fragrance and Elizabeth Macarthur's Letters. Her most recent novel is the bestselling A Room Made of Leaves. She has also written three books about the writing process. In 2017 Grenville was awarded the Australia Council Award for Lifetime Achievement in Literature.

Reviews for Restless Dolly Maunder: Shortlisted for the 2024 Women's Prize for Fiction

‘There is no doubt Grenville is one of our greatest writers.’ -- Sunday Mail ‘[Grenville] is a gift of a writer.’ -- Age ‘Excellent…So beautifully observed and written…An accomplished novel with all the experience that a writer like Kate Grenville brings to her work…Really a superb piece of work.’ -- Leigh Sales on A Room Made of Leaves ‘Kate Grenville is a literary alchemist, turning the leaden shadow of the historical Elizabeth Macarthur into a luminescent, golden woman for our times. Intelligent, compassionate, strategic and dead sexy, Grenville’s Macarthur is an unforgettable character who makes us question everything we thought we knew about our colonial past. A polished gem of a novel by a writer who is as brave as she is insightful. I simply loved it.’ -- Clare Wright on A Room Made of Leaves ‘Fabulous…It will delight you and it will keep you company during lockdown. But it will also make you think deeply about home and belonging and our hidden and brutal colonial past. And although Kate implores us to not believe too quickly, I would like you to please believe me when I declare that you will adore this book.’ -- Melanie Cheng on A Room Made of Leaves ‘Vividly rendered, warmly sympathetic, daring in speculative breadth: a full-length portrait in oils of a woman known to most of us only in profile miniature…If Grenville’s novel is inspired by provocation, it unfolds as a feeling, organic story.’ -- Australian on A Room Made of Leaves ‘Nobody writes historical fiction like Kate Grenville. Again and again she has brought history—both the official records and the messy tensions in the margins—to life…Women like Dolly Maunder rarely make it into the history books. Here, she’s honoured by one of our best.’ * Qantas Magazine * ‘Grenville uses exacting research to imagine her way into the life of another—this time a woman she once feared, and with whom she appeared to have come to some understanding.’ * Guardian *

  • Long-listed for Fiction, Indie Book Awards 2024 (Australia)
  • Long-listed for Women’s Prize for Fiction 2024 (UK)
  • Short-listed for Women’s Prize for Fiction 2024 (UK)

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