The Steele Diaries

Wendy James


The Steele Diaries

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The only child of two famous but self-absorbed artists, Zelda Steele is adopted by her parent’s patrons when she is just a baby. Great things are expected of this privileged young woman, but at twenty-seven Zelda is dead, leaving two young children and a body of work that only hints at her promise.

Decades later, Zelda’s daughter Ruth returns to her childhood home to find the diaries her mother is rumoured to have kept. What they reveal takes her on a journey into the past: her mother’s, her grandmothers and, ultimately, her own.

Weaving together the narratives of three very different women, living in vastly different times, The Steele Diaries paints a rich and evocative portrait of the Sydney art scene from the thirties to the seventies, and the eternal conflict between motherhood and self.

“As a fan of
Out of the Silence, the author’s award winning debut, I had high hopes for this second effort – and it didn’t disappoint. Diaries is a wonderful exploration of the tricky relationship between motherhood and art.” WHO Magazine


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Author Information

Wendy James

Wendy James was born in Sydney in 1966, and grew up in western New South Wales and the northern beach suburbs of Sydney. Over the years she has worked in a number of diverse fields (as an insurance clerk, kitchen company dogsbody, bookkeeper, childcare worker, tutor, manuscript assessor, researcher) in order to support her writing habit, her university studies and her four children. Wendy currently lives in Newcastle, NSW. Out of the Silence, Wendy’s debut novel, won the 2006 Ned …