A Season on Earth by Gerald Murnane (Hardback) – Miles Franklin Longlisted
Lost to the world for more than four decades, A Season on Earth is the essential link between two acknowledged masterpieces by Gerald Murnane- the lyrical account of boyhood in his debut novel, Tamarisk Row, and the revolutionary prose of The Plains.
A Season on Earth is Murnane’s second novel as it was intended to be, bringing together all of its four sections-the first two of which were published as A Lifetime on Clouds in 1976 and the last two of which have never been in print.
A hilarious tale of a lustful teenager in 1950s Melbourne, A Lifetime on Clouds has been considered an outlier in Murnane’s fiction. That is because, as Murnane writes in his foreword, it is ‘only half a book and Adrian Sherd only half a character’.
Here, at last, is sixteen-year-old Adrian’s journey in full, from fantasies about orgies with American film stars and idealised visions of suburban marital bliss to his struggles as a Catholic novice, and finally a burgeoning sense of the boundless imaginative possibilities to be found in literature and landscapes.
Adrian Sherd is one of the great comic creations in Australian writing, and A Season on Earth is a revelatory portrait of the artist as a young man.