A History of Books

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Giramondo Publishing, 2012 - Australian fiction - 205 pages
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 writer's mind. The titles aren't 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 Murnane's 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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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - stillatim - LibraryThing

I've put off reviewing this for too long, and now my thoughts are all disorganized. But suffice to say, my gut instinct was: not as good as Barley Patch, not as good as A Million Windows, still better ... Read full review

A History of Books

User Review  - Thorpe-Bowker and Contributors - Books+Publishing

A History of Books is in many ways a continuation of the musings of Gerald Murnane's 2009 book Barley Patch. It's a safe prediction that A History of Books will be unlike any other book published in ... Read full review

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About the author (2012)

Gerald Murname was born in Melbourne, Australia in 1939. In 1956, he matriculated from De La Salle College Malvern. He briefly trained for the Roman Catholic priesthood in 1957, but decided to become a teacher in primary schools from 1960 to 1968 and at the Victoria Racing Club's Apprentice Jockeys' School. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Melbourne in 1969, then worked in the Victorian Education Department until 1973. He is the author of numerous books including Tamarisk Row, A Lifetime on Clouds, The Plains, Landscape with Landscape, Inland, Velvet Waters, Emerald Blue, Invisible Yet Enduring Lilacs, Barley Patch, A History of Books, and A Million Windows. He won the Victorian Literary Award 2016 in the Nonfiction category for Something for the Pain: A Memoir of the Turf.

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