Literary Legends

  • Past Event
Sydney Writers' Festival
On Site

Explore the literary histories of Charmian Clift, Shirley Hazzard and Elizabeth Harrower with the writers who are salvaging their stories from the archives. Featuring Brigitta Olubas, Nadia Wheatley and Susan Wyndham, with host Caroline Baum.

Event Information

Past Event
General admission:  
The Library Auditorium, Lower Ground 1, Macquarie St Building

1 Shakespeare Place
Sydney NSW 2000
+61 2 9273 1414

Three authors smiling to the camera


Explore the literary histories of Charmian Clift, Shirley Hazzard and Elizabeth Harrower.

Following her biography The Life and Myth of Charmian Clift, Nadia Wheatley contributed the afterword to The End of the Morning, Clift’s final manuscript, which was recently published more than 50 years after her death. Literary scholar Brigitta Olubas (Shirley Hazzard: A Writing Life) joins forces with journalist Susan Wyndham to edit Hazzard and Harrower: The Letters, which reveals the deep and vexed friendship between two of Australia’s greatest writers. 

Learn more about these fabled authors’ work and writing lives with the scholars who are salvaging their stories from the archives.

Brigitta Olubas was born in Hobart, Tasmania and now lives in Sydney. She is professor of English at the University of New South Wales where she teaches and researches in Australian Literature. Her publications include books and essays on Australian Literature, particularly on writing by migrant, diasporic and refugee writers, as well as on the work of Shirley Hazzard. Her writing is directed at both scholarly and general readerships. She is a recent and late convert to writing literary biography.

Nadia Wheatley is the editor of The End of the Morning – the previously unpublished novella by Charmian Clift, which has just been released. Regarded by Charmian as her major work, it recounts the childhood of her alter ego, Cressida Morley. Nadia is the author of The Life and Myth of Charmian Clift (The Age Non-Fiction Book of the Year 2001; NSW Premier's Australian History Prize 2002). In 2022, she edited Sneaky Little Revolutions – Selected Essays of Charmian Clift.

Susan Wyndham is a writer, journalist and former literary editor of The Sydney Morning Herald. She is co-editor with Brigitta Olubas of Hazzard and Harrower: The Letters, published in May.

Caroline Baum is the author of Only: A Singular Memoir about being an only child, published in 2017. Her life-writing has also appeared in several anthologies including My Mother, My Father: On Losing a Parent and Rebellious DaughtersLife Sentences, her podcast about the practice of contemporary biography, is available on all major platforms. Caroline is the winner of the 2015 Hazel Rowley Award and her journalism has appeared in The Sydney Morning Herald, Griffith Review, and The Guardian. Caroline is the Ambassador for the Older Women’s Network in NSW.


This event is presented in partnership with Sydney Writers’ Festival.