'Writers, their friends, enemies, editors, and publishers began to materialise out of the library's archive boxes, and I found myself setting off in search of these elusive, eccentric, and often quarrelsome characters.'
With his unique and entertaining blend of memoir, biography, and literary detective work, Craig Munro recreates the lives and careers of a group of renowned Australian editors and their authors in a narrative spanning from the 1890s to the 1990s.
Among those encountered on the journey are A.G. Stephens, who helped turn foundry worker Joseph Furphy's thousand-page handwritten manuscript into the enduring classic Such Is Life; P.R. Stephensen, who tangled with an irascible Xavier Herbert to tame his unwieldy masterpiece Capricornia; Beatrice Davis, whose literary soirees were the talk of Sydney, and who insisted Herbert cut his controversial novel Soldiers' Women in half; and award-winning fiction editor Rosanne Fitzgibbon, who championed the work of many authors, including the prodigiously talented Gillian Mears.
Throughout it all, in beguiling and elegant style, Craig Munro weaves his own reminiscences of a life in publishing while tracking down some of Australian literature's most fascinating stories. Literary Lion Tamers is a delight for anyone interested in the world of books and those who create them.