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Literary Legends

22 May 2024
2.00pm – 3.00pm AEST
Gallery Room, State Library of New South Wales
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Caroline Baum, Brigitta Olubas, Nadia Wheatley and Susan Wyndham

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Caroline Baum | Brigitta Olubas |  Nadia Wheatley | Susan Wyndham

Explore the literary histories of Charmian Clift, Shirley Hazzard and Elizabeth Harrower.

Following her biography The Life and Myth of Charmian Clift, Nadia Wheatley contributed the afterword to The End of the Morning, Clift’s final manuscript, which was recently published more than 50 years after her death. Literary scholar Brigitta Olubas (Shirley Hazzard: A Writing Life) joins forces with journalist Susan Wyndham to collate Shirley Hazzard and Elizabeth Harrower: The Letters, which reveals the deep and vexed friendship between two of Australia’s greatest writers.  

Learn more about these fabled authors’ work and writing lives with the scribes who are salvaging their stories from the archives.

This event is presented by the Sydney Writers' Festival and supported by UNSW Sydney. 


UNSW Sydney is the exclusive university sponsor and proud Premier Partner of the Sydney Writers’ Festival. Featuring UNSW academics and researchers on Sydney Writers’ Festival stages, and events at the UNSW Kensington Campus, this partnership brings together a shared vision of creativity, curiosity and thought leadership. 


Ticket Prices*
 All Tickets – $20

*plus booking fees

Venue Information
This event will take place live at State Library of New South Wales. For all venue and visitor safety information, please visit Sydney Writers' Festival.


Wheelchair Access
All Festival venues are accessible, and provide wheelchair and level access. To book accessible seats at the State Library of New South Wales, please contact the Sydney Writers' Festival Box Office on 02 9256 4200 or email

Accessible Parking
Accessible parking is available if you have a mobility parking sticker at Shakespeare Place, on the corner of Macquarie Street and the Cahill Expressway. Please call 02 9273 1414 for more information.


The closest train stations are Martin Place (200 metres) and St James (450 metres). Ferries arrive into Circular Quay which is also only a short walk away. The Sydney Explorer bus stops outside the Library on Macquarie Street. For more information on transport, visit or,



Sydney Writers' Festival
For all event enquiries, contact the Sydney Writers' Festival on 02 9256 4200 or

UNSW Centre for Ideas
For all other enquiries, contact the UNSW Centre for Ideas on 02 9065 0485 or email

National Relay Service
The UNSW Centre for Ideas and Sydney Writers' Festival are happy to receive phone calls via the National Relay Service. TTY users, phone 133 677, then ask for the applicable organisations phone number (listed above). Speak and Listen users, phone 1300 555 727 then ask for applicable organisations phone number (listed above). Internet relay users, visit, then ask for applicable organisations phone number (listed above). 

Caroline Baum

Caroline Baum

Caroline is the author of Only: A Singular Memoir about being an only child, published in 2017. Her life-writing has also appeared in several anthologies including My Mother, My Father: On Losing a Parent and Rebellious Daughters. Life Sentences, her podcast about the practice of contemporary biography, is available on all major platforms. Caroline is the winner of the 2015 Hazel Rowley Award and her journalism has appeared in The Sydney Morning Herald, Griffith Review, and The Guardian. Caroline is the Ambassador for the Older Women’s Network in NSW.

Brigitta Olubas

Brigitta Olubas

Brigitta Olubas was born in Hobart, Tasmania and now lives in Sydney. She is professor of English at the UNSW Sydney where she teaches and researches in Australian Literature. Her publications include books and essays on Australian Literature, particularly on writing by migrant, diasporic and refugee writers, as well as on the work of Shirley Hazzard. Her writing is directed at both scholarly and general readerships. She is a recent and late convert to writing literary biography.

Nadia Wheatley

Nadia Wheatley

Nadia Wheatley is the editor of The End of the Morning – the previously unpublished novella by Charmian Clift, which has just been released. Regarded by Charmian as her major work, it recounts the childhood of her alter ego, Cressida Morley. Nadia is the author of The Life and Myth of Charmian Clift (The Age Non-Fiction Book of the Year 2001; NSW Premier's Australian History Prize 2002). In 2022, she edited Sneaky Little Revolutions – Selected Essays of Charmian Clift.

Susan Wyndham

Susan Wyndham

Susan Wyndham is a writer, journalist and former literary editor of The Sydney Morning Herald. She is co-editor with Brigitta Olubas of Hazzard and Harrower: The Letters, published in May.