Murray Bail was born in Adelaide in 1941. Homesickness, his first novel, won the National Book Award for Australian Literature and the Melbourne Age Book of the Year Award. Holden's Performance, first published in 1988, won the Vance Palmer Prize for Fiction. Eucalyptus was the winner of the Commonwealth Writers Prize and the Miles Franklin Literary Award. Murray Bail's non-fiction includes an acclaimed monograph on the work of the painter Ian Fairweather and Longhand, A Writer's Notebook.