Collected Short Fiction

Gerald Murnane



This volume brings together Gerald Murnane’s shorter works of fiction, most of which have been out of print for the past twenty-five years. They include such masterpieces as ‘When the Mice Failed to Arrive’, ‘Stream System’, ‘First Love’, ‘Emerald Blue’, and ‘The Interior of Gaaldine’, a story which holds the key to the long break in Murnane’s career, and points the way towards his later works, from Barley Patch to Border Districts. Much is made of Murnane’s distinctive and elaborate style as a writer, but there is no one to match him in his sensitive portraits of family members – parents, uncles and aunts, and particularly children – and in his probing of situations which contain anxiety and embarrassment, shame or delight.

‘The seventy-eight-year-old Nobel Prize contender writes like a clockmaker: every sentence is a finely tooled cog, every book an exquisite machine.’ Australian Book Review

‘It is this yearning quality, which seems utterly genuine despite the note of ironic self-awareness, that gives Murnane’s long creative project, with its unique and eccentric combination of fiction and biography, history and self-constructed metaphysics, its peculiar poignancy.’ The Saturday Paper

‘Gerald Murnane is the most original writer our country has so far produced.’ Australian

High-res cover image

Print ISBN : 9781925336641
Epdf ISBN : 978-1-925336-71-9
Epub ISBN : 978-1-925336-72-6
pp : 512
Published : April 2018


About the Author

Gerald Murnane
Gerald Murnane was born in Melbourne in 1939. He is the author of eleven works of fiction, including Tamarisk Row, The Plains, InlandBarley PatchA History of Books, A Million Windows, and Border Districts, and a collection of essays, Invisible Yet Enduring Lilacs. He is a recipient of an Emeritus Fellowship from the Australia Council, the Patrick White Literary Award, the Melbourne Prize for Literature, the Adelaide Festival Literature Award for Innovation and the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award. His last work of fiction, Border Districts, received the the 2018 Prime Minister's Literary Award for Fiction, was shortlisted for the 2018 Miles Franklin Literary Award and the 2018 ALS Gold Medal, and longlisted for the 2018 Voss Literary Prize.

From Murnane

Gerald Murnane Online Archive
A note from the author (PDF)


From Collected Short Fiction


The New York Times: ‘Two New Books From Australia, Unconstrained by Literary Convention’
The Wall Street Journal
The Age: ‘The difficult pleasure of Australia’s cult literary figure’
The Guardian


New York Times Magazine – ‘Is the Next Nobel Laureate in Literature Tending Bar in a Dusty Australian Town?’
Paris Review
The Guardian – ‘Gerald Murnane: one of Australia’s greatest writers you may never have heard of’
New Statesman – ‘The navel-gazing fictions of Gerald Murnane’
Music and Literature – profile of Gerald Murnane
ABC – ‘Australian author, Nobel candidate Gerald Murnane on having career upswing at 80 then quitting publishing’