An Eye For Eternity

The Life of Manning Clark

Mark McKenna
Winner, Winner of the Non-Fiction Award, Prime Minister's Literary Award, 2012
Winner, Nettie Palmer Prize for Non-Fiction, VIC Premier's Literary Awards, 2011
Winner, The Douglas Stewart Prize, NSW Premier's Literary Awards, 2012
Winner, Non-Fiction Book, QLD Premier’s Literary Awards, 2012
Winner, Shortlisted, National Biography Award, 2012
Winner, Non-Fiction Award, Adelaide Festival Awards for Literature, 2012
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An Eye For Eternity

Published

16 October 2012

ISBN

9780522862645

Ebook File Size

4.2MB

Imprint

Melbourne University Press

An Eye For Eternity

The Life of Manning Clark

Mark McKenna
Winner, Winner of the Non-Fiction Award, Prime Minister's Literary Award, 2012
Winner, Nettie Palmer Prize for Non-Fiction, VIC Premier's Literary Awards, 2011
Winner, The Douglas Stewart Prize, NSW Premier's Literary Awards, 2012
Winner, Non-Fiction Book, QLD Premier’s Literary Awards, 2012
Winner, Shortlisted, National Biography Award, 2012
Winner, Non-Fiction Award, Adelaide Festival Awards for Literature, 2012
An Eye for Eternity paints a sweeping portrait of the man who gave Australians the signature account of their own history.
Manning Clark was a complex, demanding and brilliant man. Mark McKenna's compelling biography of this giant of Australia's cultural landscape is informed by his reading of Clark's extensive private letters, journals and diaries-many that have never been read before.

An Eye for Eternity paints a sweeping portrait of the man who gave Australians the signature account of their own history. It tells of his friendships with Patrick White and Sidney Nolan. It details an urgent and dynamic marriage, ripped apart at times by Clark's constant need for extramarital romantic love. A son who wrote letters to his dead parents. A historian who placed narrative ahead of facts. A doubter who flirted with Catholicism. A controversial public figure who marked slights and criticisms with deeply held grudges.

To understand Clark's life is to understand twentieth century Australia. And it raises fundamental questions about the craft of biography. When are letters too…
Manning Clark was a complex, demanding and brilliant man. Mark McKenna's compelling biography of this giant of Australia's cultural landscape is informed by his reading of Clark's extensive private letters, journals and diaries-many that have never been read before.

An Eye for Eternity paints a sweeping portrait of the man who gave Australians the signature account of their own history. It tells of his friendships with Patrick White and Sidney Nolan. It details an urgent and dynamic marriage, ripped apart at times by Clark's constant need for extramarital romantic love. A son who wrote letters to his dead parents. A historian who placed narrative ahead of facts. A doubter who flirted with Catholicism. A controversial public figure who marked slights and criticisms with deeply held grudges.

To understand Clark's life is to understand twentieth century Australia. And it raises fundamental questions about the craft of biography. When are letters too personal, comments too hurtful and insights too private to publish? Clark incessantly documented his life—leaving notes to the biographers he knew would pursue his story. He had a deep need to be remembered and this book means he will now be understood in an unforgettable way.

A splendidly energetic work, broad and deep. It never fails in empathy, yet it crackles with acute and unsparing insights.”
Helen Garner

About the author

Mark McKenna

Mark McKenna is one of Australia's leading historians. A research fellow in History at the University of Sydney, he is the author of several prize winning books, including Looking for Blackfellas' Point: an Australian History of Place, which won the Douglas Stewart Prize for Non-Fiction and Book of the Year in the 2003 NSW Premier's Literary Awards.

His essays and articles have been widely published in Australia and overseas. Seven years in the making, his biography of Manning Clark is his most ambitious project to date.

About Mark McKenna

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