Elizabeth Jolley (1923-2007)

Paper Children

Taken from The Secret Self/2: Short Stories by Women, selected by Hermione Lee (1987)

Elizabeth Jolly started publishing her work late aged 57, so there’s hope for us all.

Paper children is about a mother, separated from her child by oceans and circumstances as a result of the second world war and her only relationship with her is through letter. Now as a grown woman her daughter is about to have a child of her own and the the mother is about to make the trip to Australia to meet own own child and her grandchild.

In a series of different viewpoints, Jolley offers us a number of possibilities but the last one is the saddest and explains the rest.  A quirky and unusual piece.




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