Book review. Frank Moorhouse: A Life

Book review.

Frank Moorhouse: A Life

By Catharine Lumby.

Published by Allen and Unwin.

A decade before his death in 2022, Frank Moorhouse asked well known journalist, writer and academic Catharine Lumby to write his biography.

Because of their many years of friendship and her close engagement with his with his writing, he said she “got'' him and his work, in a way few others did.

“Many writers fashion a career out of their writing. Some fashion brilliant careers.

“Very few, however, commit to their art in a manner that inflects every aspect of their own daily life,” said Lumby.

She said Frank Moorhouse was one of the rare writers who actively chose to live a life that was grounded in conscious aesthetic and ethical choices as was his writing.

As one of Australia's best known and most loved authors, his career spanned the genres of the novel, the short story, the essay, the memoir, the erotic novella, the screenplay and the historical monograph.

He even invented a literary form: the discontinuous narrative.

The book has many photographs, giving us an insight into his early life with his parents and his brothers and later with his friends and fellow artists.

It's a wonderful read, with many extracts from Moorhouse's writing.

The last word goes to Tom Keneally who said the book is “wonderfully lively and, like the subject himself, charming.”