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Into the Loneliness: The unholy alliance of Ernestine Hill and Daisy Bates

2022 - Shortlisted


Judges' Comments 

With Into the Loneliness Eleanor Hogan performs a feat of miraculous literary excavation, revealing delicate layers of historical data previously not seen before.  Sifting the process of her research and travel into the narrative, she has created an elegant and nuanced biography of Daisy Bates and Ernestine Hill, their various agendas, allegiances, betrayals, and secrets. Both were unconventional loners who repudiated marriage; both produced books that moulded and influenced Australia’s idea of itself. In the complex task of attempting to unpick a variety of mythologies — the idealised or romanticised view of Australia contained in their works, the self-mythologising, and that imposed by the journalistic world on those with a prominent public profile— the author deftly treads a balanced line, skilfully navigating the chaotic archives left by both. Expansive and deeply-researched, this account uniquely explores the lives of two singular and complex women and the literary relationship between them.

About the Author

photo of eleanor hogan

Eleanor Hogan

Eleanor Hogan is a literary non-fiction writer and independent researcher with a PhD in Australian Literature from Melbourne University whose writing draws on her experience of Central Australia. She is the author of NewSouth’s Alice Springs (2012) and Into the Loneliness: the unholy alliance of Ernestine Hill and Daisy Bates (2021), and a co-author of The Internet on the Outstation (2016). Into the Loneliness received an Australia Council Arts Project Grant 2016, the Peter Blazey Fellowship 2017, the Hazel Rowley Literary Fellowship 2019, and was short-listed for the University of Queensland Non-Fiction Book Award 2021, the Chief Minister’s NT Book Awards 2022 and the Magarey Medal for Biography 2022.