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Beverley Farmer Biography

(1941– ), Alone, Milk, Hometime, Place of Birth, A Body of Water, The Seal Woman

Australian short-story writer and novelist, born in Melbourne, educated at the University of Melbourne. Following her marriage to a Greek she lived in Greece for several years before returning to Australia. Her first novel, Alone (1980), deals with the romantic, poeticized lesbian relationship of Shirley, a young woman afraid of heterosexual experience. It was followed by two volumes of short stories, Milk (1983) and Hometime (1985), most of which are about an outsider in the womb-like family nexus of a Greek village, and deal with the problems of being a woman in a patriarchal society and the tensions of a cross-cultural marriage. Her best stories are permeated with sensual impressions of life in a rural Greek community. Place of Birth (1990) contains a selection of stories from these volumes. A Body of Water (1990) was described by its publishers as a novel but is more like a diary, covering the period from February 1987 to February 1988 and incorporating passages of prose, poetry, criticism, and short fiction. The novel The Seal Woman (1992) is based on a Scandinavian legend of undying love; The House in the Light (1995) explores the emotional tempests unleashed by a woman's return to her husband's family in Greece.

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Literature Reference: American Literature, English Literature, Classics & Modern FictionEncyclopedia of Literature: Englefield Green Surrey to William Faulkner Biography