Ink in Her Veins: The troubled life of Aileen Palmer
With Sylvia Martin
Aileen Palmer – poet, translator, political activist, adventurer – was the daughter of two writers prominent in Australian literature in the first half of the twentieth century.
Aileen certainly inherited her parents’ talents, publishing poetry, translating the work of Ho Chi Minh, and recording what she referred to as ‘semi fictional bits of egocentric writing’. She also absorbed their interest in leftist politics. This, combined with her bravery, led to participation in the Spanish Civil War and the ambulance service in London during World War II.
Sylvia's latest book, published by UWAP,2016, Ink in Her Veins, paints an honest and moving portrait in which we see a talented woman slowly brought down by war, family expectations, and psychiatric illness and the sometimes cruel ‘treatments’ common in the twentieth century.
Sylvia Martin is a biographer and literary historian. A former CH Currey Fellow at SLNSW, her biography of the first female Mitchell Librarin, Ida Leeson: a Life: Not a Blue-Stocking Lady won the Magarey Prize for Biography and was short-listed for the NSW Premier’s Literary Award and the Kibble Award.