Tirra Lirra by the River

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Tirra Lirra by the River
Tirra Lirra by the River.jpg
First edition
Author Jessica Anderson
Cover artistThe Presentation by Charles Blackman c1959
Country Australia
Language English
Genre Novel
Publisher Macmillan, Australia
Publication date
1978
Media type Paperback
Pages141
ISBN 0-333-25133-4
OCLC 5938300
823
LC Class PZ4.A54736 Ti 1978 PR9619.3.A57
Preceded byThe Commandant 
Followed by The Impersonators  

Tirra Lirra by the River is a novel by Australian writer Jessica Anderson. It won the Miles Franklin Award. [1] Though written some years before, it was first published in 1978. [1] It is included in Carmen Callil and Colm Tóibín's collection The Modern Library: The Best 200 Novels in English since 1950 (Picador 1999. ISBN   0-330-34182-0).

Contents

Plot synopsis

For Nora Porteous, life is a series of escapes. To escape her tightly knit small-town family, she marries, only to find herself confined again, this time in a stifling Sydney suburb with a selfish, sanctimonious husband. With a courage born of desperation and sustained by a spirited sense of humor, Nora travels to London, and it is there that she becomes the woman she wants to be. Or does she?

Quotes: "Finely honed structurally and tightly textured, it's a wry, romantic story that should make Anderson's American reputation and create a demand for her other work." - The Washington Post "There may be a better novel than Tirra Lirra by the River this year, but I doubt it." - Cleveland Plain Dealer "Subtle, rich, and seductive, this beautifully written novels casts a spell of delight upon the reader." Library Journal

Cultural references

The book's title is taken from Alfred, Lord Tennyson's poem, "The Lady of Shalott". That particular line comes from part 3, stanza 4:

From the bank and from the river
He flashed into the crystal mirror,
'Tirra lirra,' by the river
Sang Sir Lancelot.

Critical reception

Hope Hewitt in The Canberra Times commented: "The limited round of small-town life is vividly recalled in incidents dramatically presented against the colour, smell and taste of the Australian setting. So is the frustration of being a girl, short-of money, untrained for anything, destined oniy for marriage. Nora had a flair for creative design, which came out in her youth in embroidery of rich Australian designs, trees, fruit and birds...Even London emerges as seen through Australian eyes. Yet the book is universal in theme, local only in detail. Though short it is deceptively rich as threads weave together and the overtones of language and the significance of the time-shifts register in our minds. The restrained artistry of Jessica Anderson's construction is exceptional in any literature." [2]

Awards

Related Research Articles

The Miles Franklin Literary Award is an annual literary prize awarded to "a novel which is of the highest literary merit and presents Australian life in any of its phases". The award was set up according to the will of Miles Franklin (1879–1954), who is best known for writing the Australian classic My Brilliant Career (1901). She bequeathed her estate to fund this award. As of 2016, the award is valued at A$60,000.

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References

  1. 1 2 Rosemary Sorensen (16 July 2010). "Tirra Lirra author Jessica Anderson's legacy is greater than one book". The Australian . News Limited . Retrieved 24 December 2012.
  2. ""Recollections richly woven"". The Canberra Times, 11 November 1978, p15. Retrieved 13 July 2023.
  3. ""Franklin winner"". The Canberra Times, 3 May 1979, p3. Retrieved 13 July 2023.
  4. 1 2 "Austlit - Tirra Lirra by the River - Awards". Austlit. Retrieved 13 July 2023.

Further reading

See also

Awards and achievements
Preceded by Miles Franklin Award recipient
1978
Succeeded by