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Synopsis

This new work by Gerald Murnane is a fictionalised autobiography told in thirty sections, each of which begins with the memory of a book that has left an image on the writers mind. The titles arent given but the reader follows the clues, recalling in the process a parade of authors, the great, the popular, and the now-forgotten. The images themselves, with their scenes of marital discord, violence and madness, or their illuminated landscapes that point to the consolations of a world beyond fiction, give new intensity to Murnanes habitual concern with the anxieties and aspirations of the writing life, in the absence of religious belief. A History of Books is accompanied by three shorter pieces of fiction which play on these themes, featuring the writer at different ages, as a young boy, a teacher, and an old recluse.

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