Author(s): Murray Bail
At dawn, two women leave Sydney to drive over the Blue Mountains, into the dry outback landscape and the home of the late philosopher Wesley Antill. A man who thought his name too light for a philosopher, and his ears outlandish. Erica, a philosopher herself, has been asked by her university to review Wesley's work, to read his notes - the pages. They are as Wesley left them, unread, untouched, at the rural property run by Wesley's sister Lindsey and brother Roger. Sophie, a psychologist whose professional skills in listening seem to be confined to her patients, accompanies her friend, painting her toenails in the passenger seat and reeling off her opinions of the various qualities of her current man. At the homestead, Roger Antill manages the feed, water, fencing, and shearing requirements of 10,000 merinos, and Lindsey dresses in dark velvet for dinner. And the pages, far from lying in order in a philosopher's study, are piled amongst handfuls of wool, wheat sacks and a discarded bottle of tomato sauce in the woolshed.
Shortlisted for Miles Franklin Literary Award 2009.
Murray Bail was born in Adelaide in 1941. Homesickness, his first novel, won the National Book Award for Australian Literature and the Melbourne Age Book of the Year Award. Holden's Performance, first published in 1988, won the Vance Palmer Prize for Fiction. Eucalyptus was the winner of the Commonwealth Writers Prize and the Miles Franklin Literary Award. Murray Bail's non-fiction includes an acclaimed monograph on the work of the painter Ian Fairweather and Longhand, A Writer's Notebook.