Gerald Murnane

Inland

Inland is a work which gathers in emotional power as it moves across the grasslands of its narrator’s imagination – from Szolnok County on the great plains of Hungary where a man writes in the library of his manor house, to the Institute of Prairie Studies in Tripp County, South Dakota, where the editor of the journal Hinterland receives his writing, to the narrator’s own native district in Melbourne County, between Moonee Ponds and the Merri, where he recalls the constant displacements of his childhood. ‘No thing in the world is one thing,’ he declares; ‘some places are many more than one place.’ These overlapping worlds are bound by recurring motifs – fish pond, fig-tree, child-woman, the colours white, red and green – and by deep feelings of intimacy and betrayal, which are brought to full expression as the book moves to its close.

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More Info

  • Gerald Murnane was coined in The Guardian as “one of Australia’s greatest writers” and The New York Times considers him “one of the best English-language writers alive.”
  • Gerald Murnane speaks to Tristan Foster at 3:AM Magazine about writing, craftmanship, and his place in Australian literature.
  • You can read The New Yorker’s profile of Gerald Murnane here
Print status: Pre-order
Original language: English
Format: B-format paperback
Publication date: 9 January 2024
ISBN: 9781913505820
Ebook ISBN: 9781913505837
Availability: World English exc ANZ
Number of pages: 204

Reviews

JM Coetzee
New York Review of Books

‘The most ambitious, sustained, and powerful piece of writing Murnane has to date brought off. The underlying narrative is of the twelve-year-old boy and the girl from Bendigo Street, their friendship and their parting, and of the man’s later attempts, Orpheus-like, to summon her back, or if not her, then her shade, from the realm of the dead and the forgotten. Woven into this narrative are a number of motifs whose common element is resurrection: the violated serf girl who returns as an angel of defiance; the lovers in Wuthering Heights united beyond the grave; the great recuperative vision experienced by Marcel in Time Regained; and verses from the Gospel of Matthew that foretell the second coming of Christ.’

Jack Kerridge
The Daily Telegraph

‘[Murnane’s] unique body of work certainly merits the world’s most prestigious literary prize, boasting an ability to convey the workings of human consciousness that is unlike anything else I’ve read. His deep, strange, mesmerising books – a dozen novels, numerous short stories and essays – seem less like discrete entities than one enormous work in which the author meditates over and over on various talismanic images and subjects.’

John Self
Irish Times

The sort of writing Murnane gives us – focused, precise – probably depends upon a life free from disruption: free to think and take time and put one word after another with as much care as possible … It doesn’t have what most novels do – plot, characters in the traditional sense, even a clear setting at times – and yet to read it with an eye on what’s not there is to overlook what is. It plunges deep into the way our minds work, the connections between memories and images that make up what we call our selves. Indeed, reading Murnane’s fiction, stripped of the usual elements, actually makes other novels seem thin by comparison.’


Praise for Gerald Murnane

‘Murnane, a genius, is a worthy heir to Beckett.’      Teju Cole ‘The emotional conviction…is so intense, the sombre lyricism so moving, the intelligence behind the chiselled sentences so undeniable, that we suspend all disbelief.’ J. M. Coetzee ‘An enigmatic author, possibly the best you’ve never heard of . . . His work insists on the reality of the inner world – perhaps even its primacy.’ Melissa Harrison, Financial Times ‘Immediately arresting . . . Murnane’s writing exhibits what literature should: an insight into a way of seeing that is quite unlike our own.’ John Self, Irish Times ‘As with Proust, the specificities of the images he pursues and catalogues provide their own pleasure [but] the effect of his writing is less about the images themselves, and more about the way thought works in the human mind.’ Chris Power, The Guardian ‘Murnane’s fantasies are many-layered, and the narration weaves between these and his mundane life in thrillingly long, lyrical sentences.” Christian Lorentzen, London Review of Books