Synopses & Reviews
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 "Must I write?" 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, is like no other fiction being written today.
"Murnane examines the nature of reading and writing and the construction of truths and fictions. And somehow, without the use of metaphor or simile, but simple transparency, he approaches the underside of these concepts, the heart of the matter, the magic of the thing that is storytelling." Smiljana Glisovic
"Murnane is quite simply one of the finest writers we have produced." Readings
"[A] book about another, more perfect book never destined to be written . . . It is like a big, polished stone thrown into the babbling brook of ordinary novels." Peter Craven
"An obsessive, funny, wonderfully self-invented writer at the height of his powers." The Australian
Discover the Australian novelist ranked by Ladbrokes as a top-five contender for the 2010 Nobel Prize.
About the Author
Gerald Murnane was born in Melbourne, Australia in 1939. He is the author of eight works of fiction, including Barley Patch, Inland, The Plains, and Tamarisk Row, as well as a collection of essays, Invisible Yet Enduring Lilacs. Murnane has been a recipient of the Patrick White Award and the Melbourne Prize. Barley Patch won the 2010 Adelaide Festival Award for Innovation.