Emmett Stinson’s brief critical survey centres on Gerald Murnane’s four major ‘late fictions’, beginning with Barley Patch (Giramondo, 2009) and ending with Border Districts (Giramondo, 2017). It is a timely and illuminating companion to Murnane’s recent fiction and works well as an extension of the first monograph on his work, Imre Salusinszky’s Gerald Murnane (Oxford University Press, 1993). Although the two books have different points of focus, they areslim yet substantial studies, each dealing with a distinct period of Murnane’s literary career, and both are eminently readable.
Emmett Stinson has been fiction editor of Adelaide’s Wet Ink magazine since its conception, and came to prominence when his story ‘All Fathers the Father’ won The Age Short Story Competition in 2004. That story is included here in his first collection, as are ‘The Russians are Leaving’ and ‘Great Extinctions in History’, which appeared in the Sleeper’s Almanac in 2007 and 2008, respectively. More recently, Stinson’s story ‘Clinching’ was included in the inaugural edition of Kill Your Darlings. A compendium of his short fiction has thus been in the offing for some time, and it came as little surprise to see his name on the list of writers Affirm Press is showcasing in its interesting new short story series.