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Gerald Murnane Biography

(1939– ), Tamarisk Row, A Lifetime on Clouds, The Plains, Inland, Landscape with Landscape, Velvet Waters

Literature Reference: American Literature, English Literature, Classics & Modern FictionEncyclopedia of Literature: Mr Polly to New France

Australian writer, born in Melbourne. The rural landscape of Victoria is evoked in several of his novels. Tamarisk Row (1974) concerns a father who attempts to win a fortune with his racehorse while his son retreats into a world of fantasy; in subsequent novels escapism becomes a compulsive search for inner fulfilment. A strong sense of landscape pervades Murnane's work, notably in A Lifetime on Clouds (1976) where a youth travels the landscapes of America but dreams of a past Australia. The Plains (1982), narrated by a film-maker, concerns the inner worlds of the nameless inhabitants of a fertile area of central Australia. Inland (1988) continues the use of imaginary worlds. Landscape with Landscape (1985) is a series of six stories, and Velvet Waters (1990) is a collection of short stories offering an oblique commentary on Australia's cultural past and present. His most recent fiction includes Emerald Blue (1995).

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