About the author

Debra Adelaide

About the book

Judges' report

The Women’s Pages details two sources of attachment and constraint: maternal and literary. Dove, a writer, is haunted by Emily Brontë’s novel Wuthering Heights, which she read to her mother, at her mother’s request, during the final stages of her mother’s illness and death. Dove’s own novel is interspersed with memories, current experiences and with her central creative task of shaping the internal novel, offering a fascinating insight into literary and personal heritage, and into the decisions of a working writer and an enthralled reader. In the process, Debra Adelaide explores women’s prescribed roles in twentieth-century Australia.

The Women’s Pages is a limpid depiction of the relationship between mother and child, seen through an intense preoccupation with literature, and an observant charting of the day-to-day experiences of individual women.

Further reading


‘Reading and writing are central to Adelaide’s work and The Women’s Pages extends into fiction the work of her collection The Simple Act of Reading, published earlier this year. In layering the lives of two generations of women reading and writing, Adelaide charts the impact of second-wave feminism on her characters’ lives…As Adelaide’s dexterous trick-box plotting opens its compartments, it exposes ideas of generation and agency with an acute, witty and playful eye.’ Felicity Plunkett, The Australian

The Women’s Pages is a novel that pays homage to words, pages and books written by women and about women.’ Annie Condon, Readings

The Women’s Pages is a technically accomplished novel, weaving together its separate threads to a conclusion in which the division between them begins to break down. It is also a sheer pleasure to read – its prose elegant and polished, rich with telling detail, and moving without being sentimental. At its heart it is a fiction of fiction-making, celebrating the entanglement of authors with their characters, and conjuring the uncanny sense that these characters exist even beyond the imaginations of their creators.’ Sophia Barnes, Sydney Review of Books


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