Never before published in the United States, Gerald Murnane’s classic collection of literary and personal essays, Invisible Yet Enduring Lilacs, is the perfect introduction to, and gazetteer for, the imaginary worlds created by one of the greatest living writers working in English today.
Murnane writes of himself as a boy making racehorses of his marbles, a pastime and obsession shared with Jack Kerouac; as a writer, working his first ten years in secret; as a reader, trying to understand the mystery of writing a good sentence by way of Virginia Woolf and Robert Frost; and as a teacher, exploring the endless ways in which words can express the contours of our thoughts. From these and other vantage points, Murnane peers into the hidden landscapes that lie within, or just beyond, the everyday details of Australian life.
Carrying the reader with him across the valleys, plains, and grasslands of his mind, Murnane here gives us a guided tour through an immersive landscape in which every word has its own space, shape and weight.
“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“ Invisible Yet Enduring Lilacs provides [an] introduction to Murnane’s singular method of rendering the invisible visible, both to himself and to his readers.” —Dan Shurley, 3:AM Magazine