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A Season On Earth


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A masterwork from Australia's greatest cult literary figure, published for the first time as the author originally intended.

About the Author

Gerald Murnane was born in Melbourne in 1939. He has been a primary teacher, an editor and a university lecturer. His debut novel, Tamarisk Row (1974), was followed by ten other works of fiction, including The Plains and most recently Border Districts. In 1999 Murnane won the Patrick White Award and in 2009 he won the Melbourne Prize for Literature. He lives in western Victoria.


'A Season on Earth recalls us to the truth that Murnane's avant-gardism emerges out of a resolutely conventional soul...Now that [the novel's] excised half has been returned, we're granted a fuller sense of Murnane's original aims...The comedy here is no less wicked in deployment, but the edge is sharpened...Ludicrous and hectic as [Adrian] Sherd's casting around for some stable sense of self may be, there is something moving in the efforts he makes...We see an artist inventing himself from scratch...[By the end] Sherd has not yet pinpointed those regions his mature art would explore. What he has learned is that they lie somewhere in the inland empire of his imagination.' -- Monthly
'A Lifetime on Clouds has tended to be regarded as a lesser work in the context of Murnane's remarkable oeuvre...In its complete version as A Season on Earth, it reveals itself as a major novel, essential to the understanding of Mur_nane's development as a writer...It is Murnane's version of A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man...Murnane has, belatedly, come to be widely recognised as one of the finest and most original writers Australia has produced. A Season on Earth is easily his longest novel, but it is among his most accessible, and in many respects it can be regarded as a foundational text. It provides a key to the imaginative riches of his substantial body of work...The restoration of this important early novel to its original form is an event to be celebrated.' -- Australian
'Murnane's early writing, as shown here, is accessible and often humorous in his own dry way...A Season on Earth could be recommended as an ideal jumping-off point for readers new to Murnane and his particular way of looking at the world.' -- Books + Publishing
'Gerald Murnane seems to be winning the wider regard his devotees have always known he deserved...A Season on Earth is more like other novels, or more like a novel, than the fictions to come, but Murnane is already determined to make his own forms...[It is] not simply an idiosyncratic take on the Australian Catholic upbringing, but a portrait of an artist as a young man, in which one false vocation has to die so that a true vocation can take its place.' -- Age
'Murnane is now generally recognised as a major literary figure, and the excavation of this work from the author's archives is important for Australian literary history.' * Australian Book Review *
'Murnane has skill and power in his ability to tell its story, without show-pony histrionics. The restoration of the full text changes the previously truncated novel and gives it a significant new place in Australian literature. A Season on Earth was the peak of Murnane's early semi-autobiographical style. He would use it as a step to reach towards a new literary ambition.' * Stuff.co.nz *
'... a poignant portrait of a lonely individual trying to come to terms with being different in a world regimented not just by his religion but by a conformist society. ...beg, borrow or steal yourself a copy as soon as you can.' * ANZ LitLovers *
'Murnane's protagonist is absolutely unforgettable, and the author himself, whose name has been appearing on Nobel Prize-contender lists recently, only adds to his exceptional body of work with this wonderful novel.' * Publishers Weekly [starred review] *

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