Melissa Hardie

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Dorothy Hewett loved 4711.
Dorothy Hewett preferred Greta Garbo to Marlene Dietrich.
Dorothy Hewett would never knock back a cup of tea.
Dorothy Hewett’s temper tantrums were referred to as “McEnroes,” after the tennis player.
Dorothy Hewett enjoyed making theatrical gestures with her hand, showing off a malachite ring given to her by a Russian Writer.
Dorothy Hewett called her daughters Bunch and Pose (and many other things).
Dorothy Hewetts family resemble each other so strongly I sometimes call them all “pod people.”
Dorothy Hewett watched TV like there was no tomorrow.
Dorothy Hewett, not Hewitt.
Dorothy Hewett’s nighties were many and always top quality.
Dorothy Hewett would put on powder and lipstick if we came over, and usually burst into tears at the sight of us (happy tears).
Dorothy Hewett loved to reminisce about her childhood, and in particular her Lenci doll, her pet lamb, and her sister.
Dorothy Hewett pronounced “restaurant” oddly, and invented “portentious,” a pretty good word.
Dorothy Hewett was sometimes relentless, and quite unreasonable.
Dorothy Hewett’s favourite reading matter was long books, the longer the better, although you’d be hard pressed to get her to remember the names of any of them.
Dorothy Hewett’s grave is in just the kind of spot she loved.
Dorothy Hewett’s hair was often in a tangle, but always soft and silky.
Dorothy Hewett’s preferred look was “glamour” and “striking,” though from time to time she went for “distinguished.”
Dorothy Hewett’s illness was frightening to her and everyone else as well.
Dorothy Hewett was an easy touch, but very forgiving.
Dorothy Hewett was my mother-in-law (so to speak).
Dorothy Hewett was particularly demanding in the areas of food, comfort, and conversation.
Dorothy Hewett suffered fools, but not gladly.
Dorothy Hewett was a funny mixture of rebellious and resigned.
Dorothy Hewett taught me the meaning of the word “agistment.”
Dorothy Hewett, and Merv Lilley, refused point blank to evacuate during the bushfires.
Dorothy Hewett was born on the same day as my own mother (different year).
Dorothy Hewett and I had rambling conversations, mostly about family matters, her daughter, and what we were reading.
Dorothy Hewett was, at one stage of her career, given a story wheel, like a colour wheel, to “learn” the secret of narrative. She made fun of it in stories.
Dorothy Hewett caused me to learn the expressions “bumping in,” and “bumping out.”
Dorothy Hewett made big “eye rolling” expressions when she thought someone was stacking it on.
Dorothy Hewett could turn in a flash.
Dorothy Hewett died but I remember at least these things about her.
Dorothy Hewett wrote “to a new friend” in the copy of Wild Card I asked her to sign (1991).
Dorothy Hewett claimed to have cooked, but no one backed her up on that.
Dorothy Hewett had quite a few capes in her wardrobe.
Dorothy Hewett did not have a head for figures.
Dorothy Hewett made up her mind, and that was that.
Dorothy Hewett wrote in an unreadable scrawl, and very quickly indeed.
Dorothy Hewett was very specific about her likes and dislikes.
Dorothy Hewett loved a fuss.

Dorothy Hewett, May 21,1923 – August 25, 2002.


Melissa Hardie is a lecturer in English at the University of Sydney.

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