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Jill Neville Biography

(1933–1997), Fall Girl, The Girl Who Played Gooseberry, The Love Germ, The Living Daylights

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Australian-born novelist, playwright, and poet who has spent most of her life in London. Her novels include Fall Girl (1966), a picaresque novel about an Australian adrift in London; The Girl Who Played Gooseberry (1968), the study of a philanderer, a leap in literary style and range; The Love Germ (1970), which captures the euphoria of Paris in 1968; The Living Daylights (1974), shimmering fragments of interlocking lives; Last Ferry to Manly (1984), a much-praised novel on the classic Australian theme: the return of the émigré; and Swimming the Channel (1993), a story of passionate love and betrayal in London and Paris. In The Day We Cut the Lavender (1995), another novel about the return of the long-absent wanderer, the protagonist, Norah, flies back to Sydney to raise money for her addict daughter now drying out in a London clinic; as she visits her old lover, and enters the family web, she is haunted by an earlier Antipodean escapee, Katherine Mansfield. As in all her novels, Neville's style is spare, enlivened by a wiry wit and often startling imagery.

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