October 06


Careful, he might be you: Michael Burge’s first Australian hero


With his intriguing, genderless, triple-barrelled name, novelist, playwright and screenwriter Sumner Locke Elliott (1917-1991) remained almost unknown in the country of his birth for much of his life, because he left it early and rarely returned.

Australian writer Sumner Locke Elliott (1917-1991). Australian writer Sumner Locke Elliott (1917-1991).

I am sure many Australians still have never heard of the writer of the iconic Australian novel Careful, He Might Hear You.

Heavily autobiographical, this riveting debut tells the story of a boy who is fought over by a pair of aunts in post-Depression Sydney. Despite being steeped in the matters of Australians between the wars, it was written in New York.

Having only experienced gay characters in E.M. Forster‘s Maurice up to that point, here was something very thrilling for a closeted Australian man in the year he reached his twenty-first birthday. Elliott’s swan song gave me a silent credibility as an Australian who found himself in…

View original post 864 more words