Frank Moorhouse: writing unconventional characters

Frank Moorhouse at the Byron Bay Writers Festival


The early-to-mid twentieth century was not an easy time for non-conventional young Australians.

Australian author, Frank Moorhouse and session chair, Sophie Cunningham discussed the lives of young people during these years, their attempts to stop the war by flocking to Geneva, and the difficulties faced by non-heterosexual individuals.

_MG_5564 Frank Moorhouse.jpg Frank Moorhouse explains the extent of research he undertakes for his novels. Image: Kalem Horn

Moorhouse showed himself to be a master storytelling, and an entertainer. His anecdotes were not only amusing, but also illustrated the years and depth of work and research that went into constructing his heroine, Edith Campbell Berry, in his trilogy of novels: Grand Days, Dark Palace, and Cold Light.

Moorhouse spent four years in Geneva researching archives, and had almost completed his novel when he discovered (through the United Nation Pension Board) the one surviving first-generation idealist, Mary McGeachy, who was living in Canada.

Moorhouse was shocked…

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