The Biographer's Lover

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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.

‘A delight to read. Ruby J. Murray enters the mind of an ambitious young biographer to assemble a moving portrait of a mysterious Australian painter.’ Carrie Tiffany

‘An accomplished and memorable novel about the gaps left in our inherited history, and the imperfect storytellers we entrust to fill them. Beautifully constructed.’ Abigail Ulman