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Murray Bail Biography

(1941– ), Times Literary Supplement, Contemporary Portraits and Other Stories

stories australian contemporary europe

Australian novelist, born in Adelaide. He lived in Britain, Europe, and India for several years and was a contributor to the Times Literary Supplement amongst other literary journals. The stories collected in Contemporary Portraits and Other Stories (1975), republished as The Drover's Wife and Other Stories (1986), were experimental in style and satirical in theme; the title story of the latter volume is a parody of Henry Lawson's nationalist realist story ‘The Drover's Wife’. Bail's first novel, Homesickness (1980), is a surreal and blackly comic examination of a group of Australians on a package tour to Europe. Holden's Performance (1987), again an idiosyncratic combination of slapstick and social commentary, charts the hero's rise in Australian society, through a mixture of luck and bizarre coincidence, to the eminent position of bodyguard to the Prime Minister. He has published a writer's notebook, Longhand (1989), and edited The Faber Book of Contemporary Australian Short Stories (1988).

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