Writing in the Woolf’s shadow

Another author is about to join the ranks of published Bendigo writers with the imminent publication of her first book Writing in Virginia’s Shadow. Ginninderra Press has published the title by La Trobe University PhD candidate, Mary Pomfret

The front cover of Mary Pomfret's Writing in Virginia's shadowThe book is a suite of fictional stories that looks at the lives of three contemporary women writers in working class Australia.  The stories relate back to the writings of Virginia Woolf who wrote that now famous and often quoted premise that 'a woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction...'

Works by Ms Pomfret have been published in national and international publications. Ms Pomfret says that the stories have a truthful resonance and speak of the breadth of her experience as a female writer from a working class background.

‘I believe that how you see life is dependent on where you stand in the world in terms of gender, class and race and that literature and art provide a prism through which to express and challenge such perspectives,’  said Ms Pomret.

Mary Pomfret's journey into writing

Ms Pomfret’s journey into writing began in Bendigo when she started her Diploma of Professional Writing and Editing at the Bendigo Regional Institute of TAFE in 2001.

Since then she has studied at the University of Tasmania, Deakin University and La Trobe University. However she attributes much of her success to her time at La Trobe.

‘Studying at La Trobe Bendigo has been a wonderful experience and has provided me with amazing personal and educational opportunities. At the Bendigo campus I have been lucky enough to enjoy the advantages that come from personal contact between students, lecturers and staff that may not be possible at bigger city campuses.’

Dr Susan Gillett, Ms Pomfret’s research supervisor, has witnessed her progress as a writer and lauds her achievements.

‘Mary has blossomed as a writer over the last few years. These stories are deceptively simple and have an intriguing fresh originality,’ said Dr Gillett.

‘While the debt to Virginia Woolf is obvious and explicit, Mary writes with an original voice and has found her own feminine form where the stories seem to nest inside each other,’ said Dr Gillett.

‘This book is a taste of things to come from Mary. We look forward to her next novel which is currently underway,’ added Dr Gillett.

A book launch with readings by respected authors

The book launch - which will be facilitated by Dr Gillett - will feature a talk by internationally renowned author, Dr Ian Irvine. Dr Irvine's most popular work, the Three Worlds fantasy series comprising The View from the Mirror, The Well of Echoes and The Song of the Tears has sold over a million copies worldwide.

Local writers will present selected readings from Writing in Virginia’s Shadow. Signed copies of the book will be available for purchase at the launch.

The official launch will be held at La Trobe University’s Visual Arts Centre, View Street, Bendigo, at 6pm on Thursday 27 February 2013. All are welcome.

Details of the launch are available by contacting Gail McNaulty at the La Trobe Visual Arts Centre, View St, Bendigo, phone 5441 8724 or via email.


Additional information:

Cover art provided by local photographer John Monteath.

Ms Pomfret completed her Honours degree in English at La Trobe University in 2010.

In 2011 Ms Pomfret was awarded an APA scholarship.

Ms Pomfret is currently working on a creative PhD based on research conducted in her honours studies.

Media enquiries

Zerin Knight, Ph (03) 5444 7375 F +613 5444 7526 M 0428 463 161 E z.knight@latrobe.edu.au