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The Biographer's Lover - Ruby J. Murray

Paperback Published: 30th July 2018
ISBN: 9781863959421
Number Of Pages: 288

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The Biographer’s Lover is a novel about Australia’s complex relationship with memory, and the role gender plays in the ways we represent not only national myths but our private versus our public selves

Why has no-one heard of Edna Cranmer?

When a young woman is hired to write the life of an unknown artist from Geelong, she thinks it will be just another quick commission paid for by a rich, grieving family obsessed with their own history.

But Edna Cranmer was not a privileged housewife with a paintbrush. Edna’s work spans decades. Her soaring images of red dirt, close interiors and distant jungles have the potential to change the way the nation views itself.

Edna could have been an official war artist. Did she choose to hide herself away? Or were there people who didn’t want her to become famous? As the biographer is pulled into Edna’s life, she is confronted with the fact that how she tells Edna’s past will affect her own future.

This elegant and engrossing novel explores how we value and celebrate art and artists’ lives. The Biographer’s Lover reminds us that all memory is an act of curation.

beautiful and fascinating tale


"Even on that first, rushed morning, I could see that the paintings fell into two categories. The first were controlled, jewel-like realist images. Portraits and landscapes. Soldiers and nurses in uniform, people at work, on farms, in factories. Then there were the second kind: the dreamscapes, sprawling images that looked much closer to the work of the Antipodeans, paintings that held stories and hints and allusions. In the dreamscapes space and time were warped, icons floated in dark skies, every brushstroke hinted at a history I could nearly sense. Black swans and white gulls flew across shifting space. Nurses or nuns floated on shadowed suburban streets while light spilled from open windows." The Biographer's Lover is the second novel by Australian journalist and author, Ruby J. Murray. Little-known Geelong-born artist Edna Cranmer has died, and her daughter, Victoria wants to get her work known. The young biographer is told by her agent that it's most probably a vanity publishing job: do a quick monograph and move on to something more worthwhile. When they meet, the family's lawyer warns that all written correspondence is under embargo, but Victoria is confident that Edna's scrapbooks and artworks are more than sufficient to tell the story. But not everything is straightforward: when she goes to see the paintings, in Edna's Sorrento studio, Max Cranmer is not at all convinced his wife would have wanted this. He refuses to help, as do his mother and his son, Geelong Cats star, Percy 'Cranno' Cranmer. What Percy does suggest is that she abandon the monograph for a biography of him, something her agent has also suggested would be more lucrative. And when she sees the first painting, she's inclined to agree: it's sloppy, amateurish and lifeless. But Edna's other works, by comparison, are so good that she feels there's a biography to be written. The biographer does her research, cataloguing Edna's works, talking to her extended family, reading any corresponden



The Biographer's Lover

5.0 1


ISBN: 9781863959421
ISBN-10: 1863959424
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 288
Published: 30th July 2018
Publisher: Black Inc.
Country of Publication: AU
Dimensions (cm): 23.3 x 15.4  x 2.5
Weight (kg): 0.39