Sharply observed, bitter and humorous, The Long Prospect is a story of life in an Australian industrial town. Growing up neglected in a seedy boarding house, twelve-year-old Emily Lawrence befriends Max, a middle-aged scientist who encourages her to pursue her intellectual interests. Innocent Emily will face scandal, suburban snobbery and psychological torment. Originally published in 1958, The Long Prospect was described as ranking second only to Patrick White's Voss in postwar Australian literature.
Elizabeth Harrower's first novel Down in the City was published in 1957, and was followed by The Long Prospect a year later. In 1960 she published The Catherine Wheel, the story of an Australian law student in London, her only novel not set in Sydney. The Watch Tower appeared in 1966.