Australian Authors

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Murnane, Gerald (1939-)

Gerald Murnane was born in Coburg, a northern suburb of Melbourne, in 1939.  After spending some of his childhood in country Victoria, he returned to Melbourne in 1949 where he lived for sixty years.  He has left Victoria only on a few occasions, and has never been on an aeroplane. His first novel Tamarisk Row, was published in 1974.  He has since produced multiple novels and a collection of essays.

After the death of his wife in 2009 he moved to Goroke (pop. 623) in north-west Victoria. It is here he is the secretary of the local golf club and helps at the local Mens' Shed.

In 1999 Gerald Murnane won the Patrick White Award and in 2009 he won the Melbourne Prize for Literature.  While his name does not always provoke the recognition of other contemporary Australian authors, he is considered by many to be one of Australia's greatest writers who could seriously be considered a contender for the Nobel Prize for Literature.

 'I always dreamed that I would read a book that would be absolutely everything that I've wanted, and because I didn't find that book, I wrote it myself. I don't mean one particular book. I mean my collected works.'

Gerald Murnane, 2015 Interview

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On the shelves


Short stories



  • Coetzee, J.M. 2017, 'Reading Gerald Murnane', Late essays 2006-2017, North Sydney, N.S.W.: Knopf, pp. 259-272.
  • Murnane, Gerald, 2019, 'The Full story', The Weekend Australian Review, February 2-3, pp. 16-17.
  • Salusinszky, Imre, 'Gerald Murnane', Dictionary of literary biography, vol. 298: Australian writers 1950-1975, Detroit: Thomson Gale, pp. 232-293.

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Border Districts

A History of books


Criticism and interpretation