Guide to the Papers of Brenda Walker


MS 8912

National Library of Australia View Catalogue Record

Collection Summary

Brenda Walker
Papers of Brenda Walker
Date Range
Collection Number
MS 8912
0.75 metres (5 boxes)
Language of Materials
National Library of Australia


Scope and Contents

The collection comprises correspondence, drafts, typescripts and manuscripts relating to her writing.

The major correspondents are Fremantle Arts Centre Press, Curtis Brown Pty Ltd, Sara Dowse and Trudi Tate and the contributors to her anthology Risks.

Conditions Governing Access

Please refer to the collection's catalogue record for the access conditions (

Conditions Governing Use

Copying and publishing of unpublished manuscript material is subject to copyright restrictions. For such material, written permission to publish must be obtained from the copyright holder(s). Copying of unpublished material for research purposes is permissible 50 years after the death of the creator of the material.

Preferred Citation

Items from this collection should be cited as '[Title or description of manuscript item], Papers of Brenda Walker, National Library of Australia, MS 8912, [box number and series and/or file number]'.


The papers were purchased from Brenda Walker by the Library in 1994 and 1997.

Biographical Note

Brenda Walker was born in New South Wales in 1957. She studied at the University of New England in Armidale and, after gaining a PhD in English at the Australian National University, she moved to Perth in 1984. She now lectures in English at the University of Western Australia.

The Fremantle Arts Centre Press published her first novel, Crush, in 1991. It won the 1990 T.A.G. Hungerford Award for fiction and was short-listed for the Western Australian Premier's Award. Other novels are One More River (1993) and Poe's Cat (1999).

She has co-edited three books, Katharine Susannah Prichard centenary essays with John Hay in 1984, Poetry & Gender with David Brooks in 1989 and Elizabeth Jolley : new critical essays with Delys Bird in 1991.

In 1996 Walker edited Risks, an anthology of short stories. Walker also contributed to Motherlove, edited by Debra Adelaide and has published a number of articles and reviews in the field of contemporary Australian women's writing.

Item Descriptions

Series 1. Correspondence, 1989-96

The correspondence, both business and personal is largely concerned with Brenda Walker's writing, in particular her two novels, Crush and One More River and the short story anthology, Risks, edited by Walker.

There is also correspondence relating to her involvement with the 1993 Canberra Word Festival, 1992 English Teachers' Association Conference, and the marking of Yr 12 English papers for the Secondary Education Authority, and Wlker's speeches for the launch of David Marr's book Patrick White: letters (1994).

Correspondents include Fremantle Arts Centre Press (her publisher), Curtis Brown Pty Ltd (her agent), Sara Dowse, Trudi Tate, Victor Oost and Jan McKemmish, Carmel Bird, John A. Scott, Brian Castro, Drusilla Modjeska, Mundawuy Yunupingi and Delia Falconer.

The 1989-93 correspondence was arranged by Walker in chronological order and this order has been retained. The 1994-96 correspondence has been arranged chronologically by the Library.

1989-90 (File 1) - Box 1

1991 (File 2-3) - Box 1

1992 (File 4-5) - Box 1

1993 (File 6-7) - Box 1

1994 (File 8) - Box 1

1995 (File 9) - Box 2

1996 (File 10) - Box 2

Series 2. Crush, 1991-96

Crush was Walker's first novel, published by Fremantle Arts Centre Press in 1991. It won the Press's T.A.G. Hungerford Award for fiction in 1991. This series contains handwritten drafts, the manuscript, the galley proof and the typescript of an ABC Radio play and a draft of 'Trouble' a filmscript by Liz Crosby based on the novel (1996).

Draft manuscripts. some typed (File 1-2) - Box 2

Edited typescript manuscript (File 3) - Box 2

Galley proof, with annotations (File 4) - Box 2

Typescript manuscript of radio play adaptation of Crush (File 5) - Box 3

'Trouble', a draft filmscript based on the novel Crush by Liz Crosby (File 6) - Box 3

Series 3. One More River, 1993-95

One More River, Walker's second novel was published in 1993. This series contains two typescript manuscripts of the novel. It also contains the second draft of a filmscript, adapted from the novel, by Linden Wilkinson (1995).

Draft manuscripts, mostly typescript (File 1-6) - Box 3

Second draft of filmscript, 'One more river', adapted from the novel by Linden Wilkinson, 1995 (File 7) - Box 4

Series 4. Risks, 1996

Risks is an anthology of short fiction edited by Brenda Walker. Brian Castro, Sara Dowse, Joan London, Gillian Mears, Kim Scott, Marele Day, Tom Flood, Gail Jones, Beverley Farmer, David Brooks, John A. Scott, Simone Lazaroo, Carmel Bird and Walker herself contributed to the anthology.

The series comprises manuscripts of most of the contributions to the work, as well as several other papers that include a talk to Victorian College of Arts students about writing her contribution by Carmel Bird, a manuscript of an article by Walker for the Sydney Morning Herald, Natasja Stott Despoja speech notes for the launch of the book, a publicity flyer and cover proofs.

Included in the manuscripts are two disks, one containing a draft of 'Shanghi Dancing' by Brian Castro, the other a draft of 'Apostrophe' by Tom Flood. These are available on the Library's network drive. Please consult the Reading Room Supervisor for access.

Manuscripts of 'The first one', by Kim Scott, 'Shanghi dancing (typescript and disk) by Brian Castro, 'Sass' by Sara Dowse and 'Southern hemisphere human' by Gillian Mears, for Risks (File 1) - Box 4

Manuscripts of 'Arabesque' by Brenda Walker, 'A man and his dreams' by Marele Day, 'Apostrophe' (typescript and disk) by Tom Flood, 'Reincarnation of Madame Tussaud' by Gail Jones and 'St Cloud' by David Brooks, for Risks (File 2) - Box 4

Manuscript of 'Paris' by John A. Scott, for Risks (File 3) - Box 4

Manuscripts of 'Fragrant harbours' by Simone Lazaroo and 'As high as an elephant's eye', by Carmel Bird, for Risks (File 4) - Box 4

Miscellaneous papers, 1996 (File 5) - Box 4

Series 5. Daughters fathers, 1996

Walker contributed to the anthology Daughters & fathers edited by Carmel Bird. The series contains the first unread proof of Walker's contribution and biographical notes on the anthology's contributors.

Material relating to Daughters Fathers (File 1) - Box 4

Series 6. Work by other authors

This series contains work by John A. Scott, Deb Westbury, John Kinsells and Tracy Ryan and an unidentified manuscript.

There are manuscripts of novellas written by John A. Scott for a work later published as Before I wake (1996). An extract from one of the novellas, 'Zone' was published in Risks.

There is also a typescript manuscript of 'Dinner at the Savoy' and Intensities of Blue: poems, by John Kinsella and Tracy Ryan given to Walker at Christmas 1995.

Work by other authors (File 1-2) - Box 4, 5

Series 7. Reviews, 1989-96

This series contains newspaper and magazine reviews of Walker's two novels, as well as the two books she co-edited , Elizabeth Jolley: new critical essays and Poetry and Gender and the anthology she edited, Risks.

Reviews (File 1-2) - Box 5