Evelyn Juers (born 6 March 1950) is an Australian writer and publisher.
Juers was born in Neritz, Germany, moved to Australia in 1960, and has lived in Hamburg, Sydney, London and Geneva. She has a PhD from University of Essex on the Brontës and the practice of biography. As an essayist and an art and literary critic, she has contributed to a wide range of Australian and international publications. With Ivor Indyk, she co-founded the literary magazine HEAT, and is co-publisher of the Giramondo Publishing company.
House of Exile
Her book House of Exile (2008), subtitled The Life and Times of Heinrich Mann and Nelly Kroeger-Mann, is a collective biography. It is based on published sources, interviews and extensive archival research in Europe and America. House of Exile was shortlisted for the Victorian Premier's Award for Non-Fiction (Nettie Palmer Prize for Non-fiction), the West Australian Book Awards, the National Biography Award, and the ALS Gold Medal. In 2009 it won the Prime Minister's Literary Awards in the non-fiction category.
House of Exile is published in the USA by Farrar, Straus & Giroux, in the UK by Allen Lane /Penguin, in France (Chemins d’Exil) by Autrement, and in Spain (La Casa del exilio) by Circe.
In 1933 the author and political activist Heinrich Mann and his partner Nelly Kroeger (later Nelly Mann) fled Nazi Germany, finding refuge first in the south of France and later, in great despair, in Los Angeles, where Nelly committed suicide in 1944 and Heinrich died in 1950. Born into a wealthy middle-class family in Lübeck, Heinrich Mann was one of the leading representatives of Weimar culture. Nelly was twenty seven years younger – the adopted daughter of a fisherman, a hostess in a Berlin bar – as far as his family was concerned, she was from the wrong side of the tracks. Their story is crossed by others from their circle, Heinrich's brother Thomas Mann, his sister Carla, friends Bertolt Brecht, Alfred Döblin, Joseph Roth and Kurt Tucholsky, and beyond them, the writers Egon Kisch and Else Lasker-Schüler, James Joyce, Franz Kafka, Robert Musil, Virginia Woolf and Nettie Palmer among others. In train compartments, ship's cabins and rented rooms, they called upon what was left to them – their bodies, their minds and if they were lucky, their books – and amidst the debris of an era of self-destruction, built their own annexes to the House of Exile.
"Scintillating and rather magical... House of Exile is an extraordinary book, and a really rare accomplishment."()
The Recluse (2012) is a long biographical essay about Eliza Emily Donnithorne, who lived most of her life in isolation in a large house in the Sydney suburb of Newtown. She is thought to have been the model for the character of Miss Havisham in Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations, who was jilted at the altar, and became a recluse, wearing her wedding dress, and keeping her wedding banquet set, until the day she died. But did it really happen like this? The Recluse is the story of Juers’s quest to find the elusive Eliza Donnithorne, who was born in South Africa, and lived in India, England and Australia. It is a lace-work rich in connections and associations, at the heart of which her subject remains, irretrievable and dignified, an assertion of the value of the solitary life.
- House of exile (2008)
- The recluse (2012)
- Juers, Evelyn (June 2011). "'Take this waltz' : leaving Vienna, city of windows". Australian Book Review (332): 18–19.
- "2009 Prime Minister's Literary Awards winners"
- Michael Hofmann, The Times Literary Supplement "Thomas Mann's house of exiles" (subscription required)
- Sydney Review of Books article: 'Tripped Up or Tripped Out'
- The Australian 'Mann the elder given a voice'
- Cambridge Quarterly Article, "Who's Afraid of Christa Wolf?"
- The Spectator, Review of House of Exile
- The Observer, Review House of Exile
- The Bookbag, Review of House of Exile
- Boston.com, Review of House of Exile
- Prospect Magazine, Review of House of Exile
- Artsfuse, Review of House of Exile
- Sydney Morning Herald, Review of The Recluse
- Mascara, Review of The Recluse