Picnic at Hanging Rock
By Joan Lindsay
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If her terrified cries had been heard by anyone but a wallaby squatting in a clump of bracken a few feet away, the picnic at Hanging Rock might yet have been just another picnic on a summer's day.
On a cloudless summer day in 1900, a group from Appleyard College for Young Ladies goes for a picnic. In the heat of the afternoon sun, three girls climb through the scrub—and disappear.
Ethereal and enigmatic, Picnic at Hanging Rock has been haunting the Australian imagination for half a century.
Joan Lindsay was born in Melbourne in 1896. Originally trained as a visual artist, she turned to writing after her marriage to Sir Daryl Lindsay in 1922. Her first novel, Through Darkest Pondelayo (1936), was a parody of popular travel books. Her second, Time Without Clocks, wasn't published until nearly thirty years later; her most famous, Picnic at Hanging Rock, was released in 1967 and made into a film in 1975. She died in 1984.
'In the seemingly limitless pantheon of gone-girl literature, Picnic at Hanging Rock might take the prize for best setting...It's a proto-Virgin Suicides, dreamy and haunting, animated by a sense of slightly sickening erotic mystery.' New Yorker
'Deliciously horrific.' Observer