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Dymphna Cusack's Popularity Abroad

by air mail from MORNA CONDELL

LONDON.— When the Australian novelist Dymphna Cusack left London for France this

week, four interesting missions concerning her work had been completed. • A book that was written by her maid between 1944-47 and which Miss Cusack brought to England with her three years ago is to be pub- lished by Constable next year. It is to be called 'Caddie —the Story of a Sydney Bar- maid.' Caddie remains anonymous, but Miss Cusack does say this much of her: A woman who was 'not just a maid but a domestic treasure' looked after her- self and her fellow writer Florence James when they were writing 'Come in Spin- ner' in the Blue Mountains. She admitted she went to help them because they were writers, and gradually told them the story of her life. Her idea was that they should write it for her, but they suggested she write it herself. She did, and after five drafts it was completed.

Miss Cusack brought it to England, and Michael Sad- leir of Constable's accepted it on condition that Miss Cusack wrote a long intro- duction describing how the book came to be written. The introduction was written in Saujon on the west coast of France, where Miss Cusack has been living. • The French translation of 'Come in Spinner,' which

has proved one of the all- time best-sellers to be writ- ten by Australians, comes out in November, and later in Dutch and Danish. Miss Cusack's later novel, 'Say No to Death,' is also being translated into French and Swedish. ▪ Her first play to be pro- duced in England, 'Stand Still, Time' is to begin at the Irving Theatre, in London's West End, in January. This play, already broadcast in Australia, deals with a sol- dier who, having been posted missing, presumed dead, re- turns to find his wife mar- ried to his best friend. ▪ Her latest novel, 'South- ern Steel'— the third she has written since coming abroad three years ago — is to be published by Constable in March. The story is set in New- castle, where Miss Cusack lived for two 'fascinating' years during the war. As the first enemy shell to hit Newcastle landed in my front yard, I feel I can write with some authority about wartime Newcastle,' Miss Cusack told me before

she left for Banyuls-sur- Mer, a French coastal village almost on the Spanish bor- der. As Australian and New Zealand representative on the committee of the Au- thors' World Peace Appeal, Miss Cusack goes to Paris on the way to ask the Existen- tialist philosopher, Jean- Paul Sartre, to come to Lon- don to speak at the appeal's conference in December.