It probably isn’t all that logical (or healthy!) to be interested in the inner workings of writers, the construction process, the notes that are behind the books, but most like writers I have a bit of an obsession in these things; the pens and the process, the original images, the notes that came before the poem or the novel.

So, I was interested to see Random House releasing Murray Bail’s Notebooks, and I’ll probably buy it. They describe it as:

Six small notebooks, yellow with blue lettering “Spirax No. 561”, bought in Melbourne 1968 – the Indian and Afghanistan notebooks; one smaller with pink cover, bought in Bombay, now lost; eight shorthand notebooks, caramel covers, London 1970-74; one, used during the first American visit, 1972, lost. Entries here have been taken, with some corrections, mostly from seven “London” books.’ A privileged and fascinating glimpse into a writer’s life, taken from the working notebooks of Murray Bail, acclaimed author of EUCALYPTUS, HOLDEN’S PERFORMANCE and HOMESICKNESS, encompassing three continents and spanning thirty years. From overheard conversations, to favourite aphorisms, to brilliant observations of people and places, to Bail’s musings on art, literature and landscape, Notebooks is a feast of beautiful words and intriguing thoughts from one of the world’s most original and important writers.


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