Marilla North - Yarn Spinners - Blackheath - Sunday 26th February

Blackheath Event

Yarn Spinners is a story of friendship, politics and a shared commitment to a distinctive Australian literature woven through the letters of Dymphna Cusack, Florence James, Miles Franklin and their congenials.

“Marilla North gives us a marvellously evocative picture of these women’s lives and of the times in which they lived. They were, of course, great yarn spinners and the book, as a result, is highly readable. But do not be deceived that there is no art behind it, because there is. Marilla North has edited these letters with the skill, which is the more admirable because it is invisible. You think she is not there because the books flows on in such a seamless fashion but she is there and is a great tribute to her and her knowledge of her subject that it does so.” Paul Brunton, former Senior Curator, State Library of NSW

“This is a mighty work of research and scholarship as well as being significant in its own right.” Jill Roe, biographer of Stella Miles Franklin

“Now that I have insight into these authors’ lives, I have a great desire to re-read the books by Miles Franklin and to read Come in Spinner. I recommend Yarn Spinners as an interesting and enlightening book.” Denise Harrison, Postgraduate Review, University of Melbourne.  BUY THE BOOK

About the author:
Marilla North was born in 1945 and educated in Newcastle, NSW. She gained Honours in English in the Leaving Certificate at NGHS where she first read Dymphna Cusack’s WWII novel Southern Steel, the book that ignited her passionate commitment to Cusack’s life and work. Marilla completed her MA (Hons) at Wollongong University in 1991 with a dissertation on the Cusack–James’ collaboration, the best seller Come in Spinner. Over the 1990s she lectured in literature and life writing and worked as a freelance journalist and book reviewer. Since 2001 Marilla has taught Australian literature to American students at Boston University’s Sydney Programme. After nearly ten years spent caring for her aged mother, in 2014 Marilla was awarded the Alfred Midgley Post Graduate Fellowship from the University of Queensland enabling her to return to her biographical trilogy on the life and times of Dymphna Cusack. The first edition of Yarn Spinners: A Story in Letters ‒ Dymphna Cusack, Miles Franklin and Florence James (UQP 2001) won the 2001 FAW Biography Prize. She lives with her husband in the upper Blue Mountains, enjoying the creative community of kindred spirits.


This is a Blackheath event. See also our Glebe event on Thursday 23rd February  


Time: Sunday 26 February, 2.30 pm
New Ivanhoe Hotel, 231 Great Western Highway Blackheath
Price: $5 (includes afternoon tea and lucky door prize)
Tickets by phone from Gleebooks Blackheath - 4787 6340 or email