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Something for the Pain


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Winner of the 2016 Victorian Premier's Literary Award for Non-Fiction

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 nine other works of fiction, including The Plains (now available as a Text Classic) and most recently A Million Windows. In 1999 Murnane won the Patrick White Award and in 2009 he won the Melbourne Prize for Literature. His memoir Something for the Pain won the 2016 Victorian Premier's Award for non-fiction. He lives in western Victoria.


'Murnane is a careful stylist and a slyly comic writer with large ideas.' Robyn Cresswell, Paris Review 'Murnane is quite simply one of the finest writers we have produced.' Peter Craven 'Unquestionably one of the most original writers working in Australia today.' Australian 'Something for the Pain is Gerald Murnane at his best. His meticulous exploration of his lifelong obsession with horse racing is by turns hilarious, moving and profound. If Australian writing were a horse race, Murnane would be the winner by three and a half lengths.' Andy Griffiths 'A marvellous book about horse racing, one of the best this country has produced. It is full of fast and loose stories and colourful characters...and lots of laughs.' Weekend Australian 'Fascinating...Totally intriguing, utterly hilarious.' Gideon Haigh 'A memoir of horse racing that speaks of triumphs and tragedies, of the infinite shades of friendship and romance, of the precision and persistence of memory, and-in its characteristically calm, direct prose as much as its contents-of virtue.' Times Literary Supplement, Best Books of 2015 'A perennial stayer in the Nobel Stakes.' Australian Financial Review, Best Books of 2015 'A treat-a rare glimpse into the mythology of a grand sport.' Gerard Whateley 'Murnane's fastidious compositional style is matched perfectly with his comic genius.' Gregory Day, Sydney Morning Herald, Best Books of 2015 'This book, this little volume, is an absolute gem. It's literary, lucid, full of love for horses and racing and full of the strange highly-ordered madness of Murnane, full of a selfless disclosure. It's marvellous. Funny, moving, beautiful. A brilliant book.' Jonathan Green, Radio National Books and Arts, Best Books of 2015 'Murnane recounts his life through his abiding obsession with horse racing. But you don't have to care about horse racing-it's the quality of the obsessed mind that matters.' Ben Lerner, New Yorker, Books We Loved in 2015 'Yes, this is about Murnane's lifelong obsession with horse-racing, but it's so much more than that. It's a memoir that illuminates his deliberately unusual life and his exquisite fiction.' Australian, Best Books of 2015 'This book is that rare thing (as, evidently, is its author): a true original...Hilarious, moving, unique: a step inside one man's passion, a key to his rich imaginative life. If you read nothing else this summer, read Something for the Pain.' Saturday Paper, Best Books of 2015

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