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 writer is hired to put together the life of an unknown artist from Geelong, of all places, she thinks it will be just another quick commission paid for by a rich, grieving family obsessed with their own past.
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 be 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.