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Under Cover


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About the Author

Craig Munro is an award-winning biographer, and the founding chair of the Queensland Writers Centre. As UQP's inaugural fiction editor, he worked with many emerging writers who have since become celebrated authors, and in 1985 he won the Barbara Ramsden Award for Editing. His other books include Wild Man of Letters: The Story of P.R. Stephensen , The Writer's Press, and Paper Empires: A History of the Book in Australia 1946-2005 (co-edited with Robyn Sheahan-Bright). Since 2012 he has been a judge of the Miles Franklin Literary Award.


'Munro takes a delighted relish in stories from the wild west days of Australian letters ... [but] behind the anecdotes and great fun, there is another story: that of a brief window in which Australia first developed a local publishing industry, when editors and not literary agents had the closest relationship with their authors, and when governments of the day were willing to make the modest investment that provided those startling returns in books such as Carey's Oscar and Lucinda, Malouf's An Imaginary Life and Helen Garner's The Children's Bach ... [Y]ou can't help finishing [Under Cover] without mourning, just a little, the time when a nation found its narrative feet. Shining off its pages is a sense of the fun and the sheer delight we once took in telling stories to ourselves and the wider world. We are so much richer now - but though Munro is too polite to say it, poorer too.' - Geordie Williamson, The Australian;;'[A] relaxed, engaging memoir about being the man with the blue pencil, which should open the eyes of people interested in the publishing business and entertain anyone who picks it up ... A charming breeze of a book ... [Munro] has a born raconteur's ear for anecdote.' - Peter Craven, Sunday Age;;'Reading Under Cover feels like eavesdropping on some of the most fascinating conversations in the history of Australian publishing - how lucky for Craig Munro to have lived it, and how lucky for us that he's chosen to share it.' - Fiona McFarlane, author of The Night Guest;;'Craig Munro has been a notable catalyst in the fermentation of Australia's literary culture for over four decades. His book is in particular an enchanting celebration of the rollicking 1970s and 1980s, when Australian writers really hit their straps and dedicated publishing people, like Craig, were their exuberant accomplices.' - Richard Walsh, publisher and editor;;'With his formidable forceps, Craig Munro has brought to birth many lusty infants of Australian literature - and this book shows how it's done.' - Barry Oakley, writer and editor;;'Under Cover draws you in to an occupation rarely disclosed - indeed, rarely brought to life in the way Munro has. These were the Renaissance years of Australian literature, and Carey is just part of it ... The momentous shift to champion black writers was part of a retelling still unfolding, vital to the national identity.' - Ellen van Neerven, editor and the author of 'Heat and Light';;'Part memoir, part tribute to a pocket of Australia's publishing history, Under Cover is cheery and illuminating. Munro obviously loves his job "transforming raw manuscript keystrokes into an object of readerly desire" ... full of insider anecdotes about the tricky but symbiotic author-editor relationship.'- Thuy On, The Big Issue;;'I have a better sense of myself and this event after having read this book ... I hope that people read Under Cover, as Munro is good company and I can see why his writers liked him. I hope aspiring writers read him so that they can understand what an editor his and why you do really truly need one. I know that those who love books about books will enjoy this book, as it is just that. I also hope that those who shared the journey enjoy the memories.' - Laura Kroetsch, director of Adelaide Writers' Week;;'This book is an invaluable piece of writing for writers, aspiring (or developed) editors, and those hoping to find their way in the publishing industry. There are so many wonderful quotes and pieces of advice; I devoured Munro's words with a great hunger ... Under Cover reveals the importance of knowledge, patience and understanding and the power and potential between author and editor.' - The Book Kat;;'If you've always thought that editors lead quiet lives involving nothing more exciting than neatly pencilling corrections on a page, this entertaining and fascinating book will show you how varied and exhilarating the life of an editor can be.' - Good Reading;;'A must-read behind-the-scenes look at the publishing industry ... Often funny, sometimes shocking and once or twice verging on scandalous ... I can't help feeling that with editors like Munro, giving so much passion to their work with authors, book publishing in a paper format has a long history in front of it as well as behind.' - Kate Dawes, Salty Popcorn;;'Most of the Australian writers you have ever heard of and quite a few beside are in the pages of Craig Munro's freewheeling memoir Under Cover ... It's one of the pleasures of Under Cover that we are inducted into unknown territories of book editing. And, too, plenty of literary gossip.' - Nick Goldie, Cooma-Monaro Express;;'With a wit as keen as his editorial eye, Munro weaves history, memoir and anecdote in a masterful manner - a testament to his extensive knowledge of the Australian publishing industry, and his prowess with the written word. Despite his intimidating editing credentials, Munro cites his own editor, Julia Carlomagno, as a catalyst in achieving the compelling structure and readability of Under Cover.' - Kate Bethune, The West End Magazine;;'A clear-eyed, engaging memoir offering a unique perspective on the passionate and occasionally unhinged world of Australian literature.' - Jacqueline Kent, editor and the author of 'A Certain Style: Beatrice Davis - a literary life';;'There is little doubt in my mind that Munro was instrumental in guiding literary taste in Australia for over a quarter of a century.' - ANZLitLovers;;'[The appearance of an energetic local publishing scene in the 1970s (UQP was an early significant player but only one) was more than an exercise in naive "us-too"-ism. Publishing Australian stories in all their diversity aided the development of an inclusive, multicultural and Indigenously aware Australian identity. Taking cues from the zeitgeist, independent publishing houses certainly needed editors who believed they were engaged in a shared cultural adventure, and Craig Munro was definitely one of those. I happily thank him for that commitment, and for this book.' - Angelo Loukakis, Sydney Morning Herald

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