|Born||September 21, 1902|
|Died||October 19, 1981(aged 79)|
|Alma mater||University of Sydney|
Born in Wyalong, New South Wales, Cusack was educated at Saint Ursula's College, Armidale, New South Wales and graduated from the University of Sydney with an honours degree in Arts and a diploma in Education. She worked as a teacher until she retired in 1944 for health reasons. Her illness was confirmed in 1978 as multiple sclerosis.
Cusack wrote twelve novels (two of which were collaborations), eleven plays, three travel books, two children's books and one non-fiction book. Her collaborative novels were Pioneers on Parade (1939) with Miles Franklin, and Come In Spinner (1951) with Florence James.
The play Red Sky at Morning was filmed in 1944, starring Peter Finch. The biography Caddie, the Story of a Barmaid, to which Cusack wrote an introduction and helped the author write, was produced as the film Caddie in 1976. The novel Come In Spinner was produced as a television series by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation in 1989, and broadcast in March 1990.
Her younger brother, John, was also an author, writing the war novel They Hosed Them Out under the pseudonym John Beede, which was first published in 1965; an expanded edition under the author's real name, John Bede Cusack, was published in 2012 by Wakefield Press, edited and annotated by Robert Brokenmouth.
Cusack advocated social reform and described the need for reform in her writings. She contributed to the world peace movement during the Cold War era as an antinuclear activist. She and her husband Norman Freehill were members of the Communist Party and they left their entire estates to the Party in their wills.
Contribution and recognitionEdit
Cusack was a foundation member of the Australian Society of Authors in 1963. She had refused an Order of the British Empire, but was made a Member of the Order of Australia in 1981 for her contribution to Australian literature.
- Safety First, 1927
- Shallow Cups, 1933
- Anniversary, 1935
- Red Sky at Morning, performed 1935; published 1942
- Morning Sacrifice, 1943
- Comets Soon Pass, 1943
- Call Up Your Ghosts, with Miles Franklin, 1945
- Pacific Paradise, 1955
- Jungfrau (1936)
- Pioneers on Parade (1939) with Miles Franklin
- Come In Spinner (1951) with Florence James
- Say No to Death (1951)
- Southern Steel (1953)
- Caddie, the Story of a Barmaid (1953) [Introduction only]
- The Sun in Exile (1955)
- Heatwave in Berlin (1961)
- Picnic Races (1962)
- Black Lightning (1964)
- The Sun is Not Enough (1967)
- The Half-Burnt Tree (1969)
- A Bough in Hell (1971)
- Chinese Women Speak. Angus & Robertson. Sydney. 1958.
- Holidays Among the Russians. Heinemann. London. 1964.
- Illyria Reborn. Heinemann. London. 1966.
- Mary Gilmore A Tribute. Australasian Book Society. London. 1965.
- Kanga-Bee and Kanga-Bo. Botany House. Sydney. 1945.
- Marilla North (2007), "Cusack, Ellen Dymphna (Nell) (1902–1981)", Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, retrieved 18 May 2015
-  Archived 6 June 2011 at the Wayback Machine, middlemiss.org; retrieved 22 March 2008.
- Croft, Julian, 1941-; Bedson, Jack; Campbell Howard Collection; University of New England. Centre for Australian Language and Literature Studies; Dixson Library (University of New England) Australian plays in manuscript (1993), The Campbell Howard annotated index of Australian plays 1920-1955 / compiled and edited by Jack Bedson and Julian Croft, Centre for Australian Language and Literature Studies, University of New England.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link) pp.68-78.
- Spender (1988) p. 219
- "Red Sky at Morning (1944)". ImDb. Retrieved 9 March 2008.
- IMDB - Come in Spinner (1990)
- Cusack, J.B. (2012), They Hosed Them Out, Wakefield Press, ISBN 9781743051061
- Peter Coleman, "Memento Moscow", Weekend Australian, 16–17 January 1999, Review, p. 10
- "It's an Honour – 26 January 1981". Australian Government. Retrieved 9 March 2008.
- "Tribute to Literary Greats on Sydney Writers’ Walk", 24 October 2011; retrieved 10 April 2012.
- Dymphna Cusack bibliography
- North, Marilla. (2007) "Cusack, Ellen Dymphna (Nell) (1902–1981)". Entry in the Australian Dictionary of Biography. Melbourne: Melbourne University Press. Accesssed 11/11/2019 
- Spender, Dale (1988) Writing a New World: Two Centuries of Australian Women Writers, London: Pandora