An exquisite fictional portrait of Kate Grenville’s complex, conflicted grandmother—a woman Kate feared as a child, and only came to understand in adulthood.

by Kate Grenville
Text Publishing (Australia), July 2023

Dolly Maunder was born at the end of the nineteenth century, when society’s long-locked doors were finally starting to creak ajar for women. Born into a poor farming family in country New South Wales but clever, energetic and determined, she spent her restless life pushing at those doors.
Most women like Dolly have more or less disappeared from view, remembered only in a family photo album as a remote figure in impossible clothes, and maybe for a lemon-pudding recipe. RESTLESS DOLLY MAUNDER brings one of them to life as a person we can recognise and whose struggles we can empathise with.
In this novel, Kate Grenville uses family memories and research to imagine her way into the life of her grandmother. This is the story of a woman born into a world of limits and obstacles who was able—though at a cost—to make a life for herself. Her battles and triumphs helped to open doors for the women who came after.

Kate Grenville is one of Australia’s most celebrated writers. Her international bestseller The Secret River was awarded local and overseas prizes, has been adapted for the stage and as an acclaimed television miniseries, and is now a much-loved classic. Grenville’s other novels include Sarah ThornhillThe LieutenantDark Places and the Orange Prize winner The Idea of Perfection. Her recent non-fiction includes One Life: My Mother’s StoryThe Case Against Fragrance and Elizabeth Macarthur’s Letters. Her most recent novel is the bestselling A Room Made of Leaves. She has also written three books about the writing process. In 2017 Grenville was awarded the Australia Council Award for Lifetime Achievement in Literature.

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