Lucy Sussex, Sonia Lovecraft, and Women’s Voices in Literature

Literature is a key tool to connect people from all places with other cultures, stories, and histories. Thus, the popularity that American and English writers and stories have had in the last centuries has been undeniably successful in their sales numbers and their popularity worldwide, as well as their quickness of spreading their Anglophone literature around the globe. Therefore, on some level Australian literature has most definitely come a bit short in their representation of print media and both e-books.
Thus, Australian literature did not have the amount of presence in print media until a couple of decades ago. Due to the variety of different literature options such as podcasts, graphic novels, movies and TV shows Australian fiction has been able to spread quicker, particularly throughout the last years.

For some readers, a new story might be in their spectrum of interest but due to the lack of advertisement of Australian literature in media and bookstores, they might never stumble across them. Therefore, short stories are a great possibility to intrigue and draw in new readers and audiences to catch attention of Australian literature.

In a world which is dominated by English and American literature, Australian short stories are a great option for a different approach to the Anglophone literature world. The value of short stories should not be underestimated. Their importance should be acknowledged because they can help readers to get an insight into some topics that can be overseen at times. Examples of these are marginalized voices such as Indigenous, queer, and women narratives which have been drawing a lot of attention.

However, short stories should not be perceived as a transit to lengthier books etc. Short stories can capture just as important themes and motifs that readers are used to from novels for instance. Topics such as and content regarding the Indigenous people of Australia or horror stories with traditional myths and legends can be intriguing for some readers.

There is a wide range of different topics to choose from because if there is one thing that is great about Australian literature and short stories; it is the variety and representation of different groups of people.

Today, I would like to introduce you to a notable Australian author, whose short story is definitely worth taking a look at. The summary and brief introductions will not include spoilers – because to be honest, who likes spoilers anyways? The story will be so much more enjoyable to read first-hand instead of reading about them.

The short story is called “Wife to Mr Lovecraft” and was written by New Zealand-born author Lucy Sussex. Her work has specifically been associated with feminist science fiction, the history of women’s writing and Australian.

As the title of the short story indicates, Sussex wrote a tribute story about H.P. Lovecraft’s wife Sonia Lovecraft. In April 2021, she published a tweet, where she states, ”I had the good fun of writing a Lovecraft tribute story in postcards from Sonia Lovecraft. She was quite a personality.” Although the story was about Lovecraft’s ex-wife Sonia Greene, the postcards and the story take place after their split and during her marriage to Dr. Nathaniel Abraham Davis. The short story also refers to the promise H.P. Lovecraft gave to his wife Sonia regarding their divorce. Due to circumstances and a form that had not been signed by Lovecraft, the marriage was never legally annulled. The story gives the reader a chance to touch upon a perspective, which has formerly only been given to Lovecraft himself.

Now, it is time for Sonia to share her thoughts and feelings – even if only in fiction.

Sussex’s short story gives an interesting, fictional insight to H.P. Lovecraft and his ex-wife Sonia’s postcard exchange. It is an interesting and beautiful diffusion between an Australia-based author, who touches upon the story of one of the most renowned American authors of history and his successful, businesswoman and writer (ex-)wife, Sonia Greene.

Wife to Mr. Lovecraft – Sonia’s postcards, a mirror of their relationship

Short stories are a diverse way of storytelling that can appear in numerous different forms. When taking a look at the story ‘Wife to Mr. Lovecraft’ the reader is immediately introduced to a unique way of storytelling and a form that is not only one-of-a-kind but also very significant when looking at the relationship of Sonia Greene and H.P. Lovecraft.


‘Wife to Mr. Lovecraft’ deals with Sonia writing postcards to her then ex-husband whom she calls How. Quite obviously, these characters in the story are based on writer H.P. Lovecraft and his ex-wife Sonia.

In these postcards Sonia writes to her ex-husband about the things she experiences with her new husband Ned, especially in Australia, and how certain events remind her of their time together. She especially focuses on the time they spent together writing stories and how different events remind her of specific stories. When on a ship, Sonia encounters a weird creature that she describes as monstrous and dark. This seems to scare her not only because the creature is unknown but more because it reminds her so much of a story her and Howard have written in the past, connecting her with a period in her life that she wants to leave behind, yet seemingly can’t. She openly mentions how she never wants to see a creature like that ever again, the creature representing their relationship or alternatively Howard himself. 

In the end she seems to get some kind of closure with their relationship after the encounter. She asks Lovecraft to let her go just like she is letting the creature go; permanently putting an end to their relationship.


With its epistolary form, the story pays tribute to writer H.P. Lovecraft and his wife Sonia Greene/ Lovecraft, who according to Sussex’s Twitter profile was ‘quite a personality’. There have been multiple postcards found by H.P. Lovecraft in which he corresponds with different people.

Based on that the story is divided into 11 postcards, all of them addressed to H.P. Lovecraft, although seemingly never sent. The postcards appear to be in chronological order but seem to jump in settings as the narrator/writer of the postcards (Sonia) seems to be changing location a lot with her new husband, leaving the United States for Australia.

All of the postcards have a heading that seems to describe either what Sonia writes about or what can be seen on the postcard (or both). Only the last postcard mentions the writer and has a proper ending.  

After looking more into the relationship between Lovecraft and Greene, what makes this story so interesting to me is how the form reflects on their relationship. Of course, the narrator openly mentions the relationship and the struggles Sonia and Lovecraft went through, talking about how they were ‘alien to each other’ (p.55).


 In the story Sonia writes that words, and especially the ones they wrote to each other, were the only thing her and Lovecraft had in common. It seems like their letters and postcards were the connection they had (cf. p.51). Now on the one hand, that refers to the stories that they wrote for and with each other, not only in the short story but also in real life. On the other hand, this is alluding to the beginning, growth and change of their relationship. 

Their relationship started after they met at a convention in Boston. From then on letters and postcards played an important part both leading up to and during their short-lived marriage.

Based on that the form of the short story ‘Wife of Mr. Lovecraft’ mirrors one of the most significant aspects of Sonia and Lovecraft’s relationship. Writing letters was what seemingly sparked the romance between these two and connected them. And now in ‘Wife to Mr. Lovecraft’ we get to read about a correspondence that seemingly marks the permanent end to their relationship and breaks their connection.