Miles Franklin's groundbreaking debut
‘I am given to something which a man never pardons in a woman. You will draw away as though I were a snake when you hear.’
With this warning, Sybylla confesses to her rich and handsome suitor that she is given to writing stories and bound, therefore on a brilliant career. In this ironically titled and riotous first novel by Miles Franklin, originally published in 1901, Sybylla tells the story of growing up passionate and rebellious in rural NSW, where the most that girls could hope for was to marry or to teach. Sybylla will do neither, but that doesn′t stop her from falling in love, and it doesn′t make the choices any easier.
#23 in Australia’s Top 100 Favourite Homegrown Reads
Generous, passionate, creative; prickly, critical, self-doubting, ‘as paradoxical as a platypus’ (P. R. Stephensen) … Miles Franklin defies easy categorisation. Her books, letters and diaries provide evidence of a complex personality, one who often struggled, but who persevered with her life’s work: to redefine the meaning of Australian literature.
Between the publication of her debut novel, My Brilliant Career, and the posthumous sensation that was the establishment of The Miles Franklin Literary Award, Miles experienced as much failure as success. Though she sometimes despaired of ever achieving lasting respect as a writer, she is now acknowledged as one of Australia’s literary greats.