Introduction by Andrew Zawacki
Winner of the Patrick White Literary Award
“The Plains is parable, fable, allegory, analogue, mythology, and vision. It is also subtly satirical and often ingeniously funny . . . Gerald Murnane is unquestionably one of the most original writers working in Australia today and The Plains is a fascinating and rewarding book”
“The Plains are a vast place inhabited by wealthy landowners whose prime obsession seems to be preserving history by ‘shaping from uneventful days in a flat landscape the substance of myth.’ A film-maker arrives to record aspects of their heritage, discovering symbols, stories and parables that transcend spiritual, political or cultural purposes; even the rugged patriarchy of their world is somehow illusory. Deeply mysterious yet grounded in familiar, everyday detail, this novel is an alchemical miracle, converting vision into pure narrative. A stunning achievement . . .”
—Debra Adelaide, Sydney Morning Herald
“A mirage of landscape, memory, love and literature itself.”
“A teasing and singular novel, one which reverberates in the imagination.”
—Laurie Clancy, Melbourne Age
“One of the finest writers we have produced. He is a master stylist . . . a strenuously original writer with a unique vision and a flawless style.”
—Peter Craven, Melbourne Age
Gerald Murnane was born in Melbourne, Australia, in 1939. He spent part of his childhood in country districts in the State of Victoria but returned to Melbourne in 1949 and has never since left. During his working life he was at various times an editor and a teacher, and at his retirement he was senior lecturer in fiction writing at Deakin University. He is the author of seven highly praised books of fiction, and in 1999 he received the prestigious Patrick White Literary Award.
Andrew Zawacki is the author of three poetry books and of several chapbooks. He is co-editor of the international journal Verse, and his criticism has appeared in Boston Review, the Times Literary Supplement, Kenyon Review, The Antioch Review, and elsewhere in the US, UK, Ireland, Australia, and Central Europe.