Author(s): Ben Lerner (Introduction by); Gerald Murnane
'Murnane, a genius, is a worthy heir to Beckett.'--Teju Cole
'A careful stylist and a slyly comic writer with large ideas.'--Paris Review
'A distinguished, distinctive, unforgettable novel.'--Shirley Hazzard
'Deeply mysterious yet grounded in familiar, everyday detail, this novel is an alchemical miracle, converting vision into pure narrative... In the depths and surfaces of this extraordinary fable you will see your inner self eerily reflected again and again.'--Sydney Morning Herald
On their vast estates, the landowning families of the plains have preserved a rich and distinctive culture. Obsessed with their own habitat and history, they hire artisans, writers and historians to record in minute detail every aspect of their lives, and the nature of their land. A young film-maker arrives on the plains, hoping to make his own contribution to the elaboration of this history. In a private library he begins to take notes for a film, and chooses the daughter of his patron for a leading role.
Twenty years later, he begins to tell his haunting story of life on the plains. As his story unfolds, the novel becomes, in the words of Murray Bail, 'a mirage of landscape, memory, love and literature itself'.
Gerald Murnane was born in Melbourne in 1939. He is the author of ten novels, which have been widely translated. His memoir, Something for the Pain was published in May 2016. He lives in western Victoria.
Winner of Patrick White Literary Award 1999.
Gerald Murnane was born in Coburg, a northern suburb of Melbourne, in 1939. He spent some of his childhood in country Victoria before returning to Melbourne in 1949 where he lived for the next sixty years. He has left Victoria only a handful of times and has never been on an aeroplane. In 1957 Murnane began training for the Catholic priesthood but soon abandoned this in favour of becoming a primary-school teacher. He also taught at the Apprentice Jockeys' School run by the Victoria Racing Club. In 1969 he graduated in arts from Melbourne University. He worked in education for a number of years and later became a teacher of creative writing. In 1966 Murnane married Catherine Lancaster. They had three sons. His first novel, Tamarisk Row, was published in 1974, and was followed by nine other works of fiction. His most recent book is the memoir, Something for the Pain. He has also published a collection of essays, Invisible Yet Enduring Lilacs (2005). In 1999 Gerald Murnane won the Patrick White Award. In 2009 he won the Melbourne Prize for Literature. In the same year, after the death of his wife, Murnane moved to Goroke in the north-west of Victoria.