The Puzzleheaded Girl

by Christina Stead, Fiona Wright

Series: Text Classics

Subject categories
ISBNs
  • 9781925355710
  • 9781925410143

‘I hate and despise business and anything to do with making money.’

‘Do you think it’s wrong?’

‘It is the enemy of art.’

Eighteen-year-old Honor Lawrence is out of place at the bank where she works. When she refuses to accept a promotion, despite her obvious poverty, her mentor, Augustus Debrett, doesn’t quite know what to make of it, or of her. Honor is an enigma—and she leaves confusion and uneasiness in her wake.

In The Puzzleheaded Girl, made up of four thematically linked novellas, Stead’s unsurpassable skills of observation and social critique are on full display.

Christina Stead was born in 1902 in Sydney. Stead’s first books, The Salzburg Tales and Seven Poor Men of Sydney, were published in 1934 to positive reviews in England and the United States. Her fourth work, The Man Who Loved Children, has been hailed as a ‘masterpiece’ by Jonathan Franzen, among others. In total, Stead wrote almost twenty novels and short-story collections. Stead returned to Australia in 1969 after forty years abroad for a fellowship at the Australian National University. She resettled permanently in Australia in 1974 and was the first recipient of the Patrick White Award that year. Christina Stead died in Sydney in 1983, aged eighty. She is widely considered to be one of the most influential Australian authors of the twentieth century.

‘Christina Stead’s talent is vital and powerful; her work has that original streak of genius so evident in the best Australian writing.’ Sunday Times

‘Stead effortlessly captures the feel of the era she is describing, with spare and beautiful prose.’ BookMooch

‘I loved the Text Classic reissue of Christina Stead’s The PuzzleHeaded Girl, a kind of female version of Bartleby the Scrivener. Stead’s gifts are so ample, her grasp of obsession extraordinary.’ Delia Falconer, Best Books of 2016, Australian

‘These are perfectly pitched stories of flight.’ Australian Financial Review

‘At shorter length, Stead reveals more clearly her gifts in tone and voice and building a scene, while her theme here puts these fictions among the Ur-texts of feminism.’ Kirkus Reviews, starred review

 


  • The Text Publishing Company; October 2016
  • ISBN: 9781925410143
  • Read online, or download in secure ePub format
  • Title: The Puzzleheaded Girl
  • Series: Text Classics
  • Author: Christina Stead; Fiona Wright (other)
  • Imprint: Text Publishing
Subject categories
ISBNs
  • 9781925355710
  • 9781925410143

About The Author

Christina Stead was born in 1902 in Sydney’s south. After graduating from high school in 1917, she attended Sydney Teachers’ College on a scholarship. She subsequently took a series of teaching and secretarial positions before travelling to London, aged twenty-six.

There she met Wilhelm Blech (later William Blake), a married American writer and a broker at the firm where she worked: they soon became lovers. They spent many years travelling and working in Europe and the United States, and eventually married in 1952.

Stead’s first books, The Salzburg Tales and Seven Poor Men of Sydney, were published in 1934 to positive reviews in England and the United States. Her fourth work, The Man Who Loved Children, has been hailed as a ‘masterpiece’ by Jonathan Franzen, among others. In total, Stead wrote almost twenty novels and short-story collections.

Stead returned to Australia in 1969 after forty years abroad for a fellowship at the Australian National University. She resettled permanently in Australia in 1974 and was the first recipient of the Patrick White Award that year.

Christina Stead died in Sydney in 1983, aged eighty. She is widely considered to be one of the most influential Australian authors of the twentieth century.

Subject categories
ISBNs
  • 9781925355710
  • 9781925410143