“You can’t keep anything secret here,” said the old woman. “Everybody knows everything about everyone but no one ever tittle tattles because then someone else’ll tell on them. But you don’t matter – it’s open slather on outcasts.”
The Dressmaker is a bittersweet tragi-comedy about a glamorous young woman who returns, after many years in Europe, to her small home town in rural Australia in order to right some wrongs from the past. When Tilly comes home, she not only heals her ailing mother, but with her sewing machine, and haute couture style, transforms the women of the town in such a way that she gets sweet revenge on those who did her wrong. She also falls unexpectedly in love, which leads to her greatest loss, and her most destructive deed.
Writer and director: Jocelyn Moorhouse
Producer: Sue Maslin
Script editor: PJ Hogan
Rosalie Ham’s first novel, The Dressmaker, (Duffy and Snellgrove, Sydney) was published in 2000, and as of March 2007, has sold over 55,000 copies in Australia, as well as Germany and France and continues to sell. The Dressmaker was short listed for the 2001 Christina Stead prize for fiction in the NSW Premier’s Literary awards, nominated for Vision Australia’s Braille Book of the year as well as the Booksellers Association book of the year award. In 2007, The Dressmaker came second in the State Library of Victoria’s poll for most popular novel set in Victoria. It is available on tape and CD, was on the CAE book club list as well as the VCE Readers list for Literature (2002-2012) and continues to be set in some schools for English Literature for year 11 students at schools through out Victoria.
“a feral version of Sea Change” …Sydney Morning Herald
“Ham does show herself a writer with strong visual gifts and a pleasingly sour sense of humour”.
Michelle Griffin, The Age, November 2000
“Ham writes delightfully rich set pieces and descriptive passages…Ham’s eye for the absurd, the comical and the poignant are highly tuned. It is a first novel to be proud of, and definitely one to savour and enjoy. “
Diana Simmonds, The Weekend Australian, October, 2000