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Border Districts, purportedly the Australian master Gerald Murnane's final work of fiction, is a hypnotic, precise, self-lacerating `report' on a life led as an avid reader, fumbling lover, `student of mental imagery', and devout believer in the luminescence of memory and of literature.
A masterful collection of essays from one of Australia's most searching and expert writers.
Never before available to readers in the UK, these brilliant and idiosyncratic short stories stand alongside the fictions of Borges, Beckett and Nabokov.
A lonely child of unusual sensibility inherits his father's love of horse-racing and his mother's Catholicism in this evocative, semi-autobiographical novel.
Barley Patch takes as its subject the reasons an author might abandon fiction-or so he thinks-forever. Using the form of an oblique self-interrogation, it begins with the Beckettian question "e;Must I write?"e; and proceeds to expand from this small, personal query to fill in the details of a landscape entirely unique in world letters, a chronicle of the images from life and fiction that have endured and mingled in the author's mind, as well as the details (and details within details) that they contain. As interested, if not more so, in the characters from his books-finished or unfinished-as with the members of his family or his daily life, the narrator lays bare the act of writing and imagining, finally giving us a glimpse of the mythical place where the characters of fiction dwell before they come into existence in books. In the spirit of Italo Calvino and Georges Perec, Barley Patch is like no other fiction being written today.
This collection of essays leads the reader into the searching and wildly fertile imagination of Gerald Murnane, one of the masters of contemporary Australian writing, author of the classics Border Districts and Tamarisk Row, and winner of the Patrick White Literary Award.Delicately argued and finely written, they describe his dislocated youth in the suburbs of Melbourne and rural Victoria in the 1950s, his debt to writers as unlike as Adam Lindsay Gordon, Marcel Proust and Jack Kerouac, his obsession with racehorses and grasslands and the Hungarian language, and above all, his dedication to the worlds of significance that lie within, or just beyond, the familiar details of Australian life.
Originally published from 1985 to 2012, these stories offer an enthralling introduction to the work of one of contemporary fiction's greatest magicians.While the Australian master Gerald Murnane is best known for his longer works of fiction, his short stories stand among the most brilliant and idiosyncratic uses of the form since Borges, Beckett, and Nabokov. Spare, transparent and profane, they range from the haunting and mesmeric to the quietly terrifying, from 'Finger Web', which tells a fractal tale of the scars of war and the roots of misogyny, to 'Land Deal', which imagines the colonisation of Australia and the ultimate vengeance of its indigenous people as a series of nested dreams.No one else writes like Murnane, and there are few other authors alive still capable of changing how - and why - we read.
Clement Killeaton transforms his father's gambling, his mother's piety, his fellow pupils' cruelty and the mysterious but forbidden attractions of sex into an imagined world centred on horse-racing and played out in the dusty backyard of his home, across the landscapes of the district, and the continent of Australia. An unsparing evocation of a Catholic childhood in a country town in the late 1940s, Tamarisk Row's lyrical prose is charged with the yearning, boredom, fear and fascination of boyhood.First published in Australia in 1974, and previously unpublished in the UK, Tamarisk Row is Gerald Murnane's debut novel, and in many respects his masterpiece.
A man moves from a capital city to a remote town in the border country, where he intends to spend the last years of his life. It is time, he thinks, to review the spoils of a lifetime of seeing, a lifetime of reading. Which sights, people, books, fictional characters, turns of phrase and lines of verse will survive into the twilight? Feeling an increasing urgency to put his mental landscape in order, the man sets to work cataloguing his memories, little knowing what secrets they will yield and where his 'report' will lead.Border Districts is a jewel of a farewell from one of the greatest living writers of English prose. Shortlisted for the 2018 Miles Franklin Award on publication in Australia, this is Murnane's first work to be published in the UK in thirty years.