Les Murray: A Life in Progress
Les Murray is one of Australia's finest poets, and a noted critic and essayist. He is also an original and controversial political thinker. Peter F. Alexander's pioneering biography reveals how this complex man endured the harshest and most anti-intellectual of childhoods to develop into one of the most famous poets writing in English today. Peter Alexander deals in absorbing and intimate detail with Murray's poverty-stricken upbringing on a New South Wales dairy farm, the terrible death of his mother when he was twelve, his miserable schooling, and his decision to become a poet. Then follow the wild years at Sydney University, the mental breakdown that led to Murray's discovery of the interior of his country, and his salvation through marriage to the beautiful Valerie Morelli. The biography details Murray's dedication to his poetry, his slow but steady rise to fame, and his role in the invigorating poetic wars that convulsed Australian writers for three decades. The book climaxes with Murray's breakdown of the late 1980s and the near-death experience that at last brought him escape from depression. This is a riveting story, told with all the psychological subtlety and narrative thrust of a good novel. It places Les Murray where he belongs, at the centre of his country literary life through the second half of the twentieth century.
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The Beginning 18481938
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19 December 28 August Aboriginal ADFA Alan Gould Angela Smith Angus & Robertson annotations December 1998 April Bob Ellis Bunyah called Canberra Cecil Chris Wallace-Crabbe Christina Clive James earlier draft farm father February Fredy Neptune friends Geoff Page Geoffrey Lehmann Gino GO'H Greg O'Hara Independent Monthly Interview with Geoffrey Interview with Valerie Jamie Grant January John Barnie John Tranter July June later Literary Supplement Literature Board living March Mark O'Connor McNicoll Mick Byrne Miriam mother Murray and Valerie Murray Collection Murray to Geoffrey Murray to Greg Murray to John Murray to Penny Murray's annotations December Murray's pocket diary never Newcastle November Penny Nelson Peter Barden Peter Goldsworthy Philip Hodgins poet Poetry Australia published September 1998 South Wales Sydney Morning Herald Sydney University Taree High Telephone interview Thompson thought Unpublished letter Unpublished postcard Valerie Murray Valerie's Wallace-Crabbe writing wrote