Autumn Laing seduces Pat Donlon with her pearly thighs and her lust for life and art. In doing so she not only compromises the trusting love she has with her husband, Arthur, she also steals the future from Pat’s young and beautiful wife, Edith, and their unborn child.
Fifty-three years later, cantankerous, engaging, unrestrainable 85-year-old Autumn is shocked to find within herself a powerful need for redemption. As she begins to tell her story, she writes, ‘They are all dead and I am old and skeleton-gaunt. This is where it began…’
Written with compassion and intelligence, this energetic, funny and wise novel peels back the layers of storytelling and asks what truth has to do with it. Autumn Laing is an unflinchingly intimate portrait of a woman and her time – she is unforgettable.
‘It’s a tale of love, of longing, of creation and of a Melbourne recently past. Ambitious, hypnotic and deeply moving.’ Sunday Telegraph
‘That Alex Miller in a seemingly effortless fashion is able to gouge out the innermost recesses of the artistic soul in his latest novel, Autumn Laing, speaks volumes about the command he has of his craft and the insights that a lifetime of wrestling with his own creative impulses has brought. Miller has invested this story of art and passion with his own touch of genius and it is. Without question, a triumph of a novel.’ Canberra Times
‘Such riches. All of Alex Miller’s wisdom and experience – of art, of women and what drives them, of writing, of men and their ambitions – and every mirage and undulation of the Australian landscape are here, transmuted into rare and radiant fiction. An indispensable novel.’ Australian Book Review
‘Miller’s long honing of the craft of his fiction has never been seen to better advantage than in Autumn Laing.’ Sydney Morning Herald
‘Nowhere in Miller’s work has the drama of character been so well synthesised with the drama of ideas. Nowhere else have his characters drunk ideas like wine and exhaled them like cigarette smoke, a philosophical questing indistinguishable from defiant bohemian excess.’ Weekend Australian
‘Autumn Laing is a true triumph.’ Sunday Herald Sun
‘Autumn Laing is a magisterial work, multi-award winning Miller’s longest and most compelling and a triumphant culmination of a series of novels about art and the artist’s relationship to it … a compulsively readable tale.’ Adelaide Advertiser
‘Miller’s language rises to his theme with a swaggering richness.’ Sunday Age