Murnane, Gerald

Murnane, Gerald, 1939–, Australian writer, B.A. Univ. of Melbourne, 1969. His first two novels, Tamarisk Row (1974) and A Lifetime on Clouds (1976), are semiautobiographical recollections of his early years. The Plains (1982, U.S. ed. 1985), which explores the disconnect between wealthy, old-money inland landowners and an outsider filmmaker, is often considered his most important work. In it, the flat landscape and the illusion of the horizon seem to represent a search for fulfillment forever out of reach, and with little in the way of plot, character, or action, it is as much about Murnane's inner landscape as it is about Australia. Subsequent novels include Landscape with Landscape (1985), Inland (1988), Velvet Waters (1990), Emerald Blue (1995), Barley Patch (2009), A History of Books (2012), A Million Windows (2014), Something for the Pain (2015), and Border Districts (2017). Stream System (2018) collects his short fiction; Invisible Yet Enduring Lilacs (2005) his essays.

See P. Tyndall, Words and Silk (1989), a documentary about his life.

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