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The Reclusive Giant of Australian Letters

Gerald Murnane’s new book, billed as his last, surveys the rest of his output.

  • Merve Emre
  • The NewYorker

0n most evenings this past spring, the man who lives across the street sat at his small desk, turned on the lamp, and began to write as the light faded.

The white curtains in his room were seldom drawn.

From where I sat, I had a clear view of him, and he, were he to look up from his writing, would have had a clear view of a house across the street, where a woman with dark hair and a faintly olive complexion was seated by a window, watching him write.

At the moment he glanced up from his page, the woman supposed him to be contemplating the look, or perhaps the sound, of the…

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