© 2017 Jeremy Chambers

The Vintage and the Gleaning

Published as The Vintage and the Gleaning in Australia (Text Publishing, 2010) and the UK (Maclehose Press, 2011), in the Netherlands as De oogst en het gisten (Uitgeverij Cossee, 2011) and in France as Le Grand Ordinaire (Éditions Grasset, 2013)

Shortlisted, The Vogel/Australian Literary Award, 2008

 

Shortlisted, Colin Roderick Award, 2010

 

‘The Best Books of 2010’, The Sydney Morning Herald

 

Longlisted, International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, Ireland, 2011

 

Longlisted, Quebec Booksellers' Award, Canada, 2014

Praise for The Vintage and the Gleaning 

'This is one of the most irresistible novels I’ve read in a long time. The writing is powerful, challenging and utterly authentic. I feel as if I’ve been waiting for years to read this strangely beguiling novel.’

Alex Miller

 

 

'What a stupendous book. A wonderful, gripping story, beautifully told.

Chambers is a great writer. He's the real thing.'

M.J. Hyland

 

 

‘Without a doubt the most distinguished first novel by an Australian writer I have read for a long time…by turns harsh and lyrical, satiric and compassionate, and ultimately tragic.’

Sydney Morning Herald

 

 

‘Chambers's first novel has a certain rhythm, a pure, lovely voice, and a sense of contemporary disquiet that is his alone.’ Australian

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‘the gentle title belies the tough beauty of Chambers’ prose. This novel is written with sinewy strength. It creates its characters with small but powerful gestures. They are gloriously understated. The Vintage and the Gleaning speaks quietly to powerful effect. It is a book whose silences are golden. It is both perceptive and compassionate. It understands the hard stuff and embraces hard people.’

Age

 

 

 ‘There’s a lyricism in the language and a depth to the emotions laid bare here that’s utterly irresistible. Add to that a genuine and honest depiction of Australian working men and what you have is quite a remarkable novel…The Vintage and the Gleaning is an impressive novel, one which many seasoned writers would be proud to call their own. That it comes from a first-time novelist is astounding.’

Canberra Times

 

 

‘[The Vintage and the Gleaning] impress[es] with a visceral appreciation for the routines of work…the true voice of Chambers’ resonantly Faulknerian saga comes through the minutely detailed, deeply authentic evocation of work life among the vines, in the sharing shed and in a plethora of country pubs.’

Adelaide Advertiser

 

 

‘A beautiful, harrowing novel about lives wasted and awry.’

Australian Literary Review

 

 

‘one of the best evocations I’ve read of both the hard beauty of Australia’s warm wine landscapes and the hard urgency of Australian male drinking culture.’

Australian Magazine

 

 

 ‘Beautifully written and sketching the Australian landscape and weather conditions with authenticity and insight, there’s a mood of nihilism as in Albert Camus’ The Outsider, stirred with the descriptive prose of Tim Winton in Dirt Music…a rewarding read.‘

Courier Mail

 

 

‘Chambers’ first novel, The Vintage and the Gleaning, published three years ago by Melbourne publishers Text, introduced us to a writer whose sense of the rhythms of Australian rural and small town life were couched in quietude. He played life with the mute in, and yet the sound of his sentences was so lovely and clear that I couldn’t shake them – indeed, they have stayed with me and even shaped my ideas of what a true literature of place might look like in the globalised present.’ Review of Australian Fiction

‘Doubt and regret sustain this extraordinary debut novel from Australia by an author not only in possession of an authentic feel for the ordinary but also blessed with a well-developed understanding of personal turmoil.’ Irish Times 

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'Written with an authentic voice and infused with beauty, brutality and sadness, this is a compelling observation of men, women and country...A remarkably accomplished debut novel that is unputdownable.' Irish Tatler

“An astounding, mesmerizing novel…written in a multifaceted prose with restrained emotions. This new Australian voice, at once rough and refined, reaches far…Chambers plays with the density of things left unsaid, with awkwardness and silence, as one would an musical instrument: without sadness, but with a hint of elegy, so that a sort of alchemy rises from the climate of closed intimacy: Chambers’s style, restrained and delicate throughout, picking through the past and gorged with emotion, transforms the bits and pieces of these ordinary lives into a big picture…There are magnificent pages, spare, precise and light, touched by grace.” La Quinzaine Littéraire

 

 

‘Jeremy Chambers [writes] with a parched, tight prose. His words are like sun-blanched stones…In a superb, evident and blindingly pure style, Chambers aims the lights on a wrecked humanity.’ Le Figaro Littéraire

 

 

Le Grand Ordinaire is an extraordinary novel by all standards…Out of darkness, light surges: the narration, the style and the story are dazzling…First of all, the novel seduces and impresses us. Then it leads us to unexpected places, and it finally moves us to no end, with final pages that are an apotheosis of sorts, in which each and every word, each and every image strike us directly to the heart. Le Grand Ordinaire is a great song of the earth, the urgent work of a truly miraculous writer.’ Les Echos

 

 

‘a superbly written first novel that is brimming with an exceptional humanity’ La Croix

 

‘Chamber’s understated account of a retired sheep shearer in a small Australian town deserves a wide readership…The rhythms of this life, the work, the terse banter among the men, and the relentless desperation…are economically conveyed…and the descriptions of ghost gums, the malignancy of circling crows and the omnipresent bleached, exhausted landscape are superb.’ Guardian

‘This terrific Australian first novel is set in a working world. Smithy is an old man on his last legs, labouring in a vineyard. He notices the beauty of the land around him. He notices and observes the people around him and is haunted by the sudden clarity of his past. He steps in to help Charlotte, a desperate young woman, and she gives a little purpose to his life. Chambers writes very powerfully about the sadness of memory.’ The Times

 

 

‘a small gem of a book...you tiptoe through pages of beautiful prose, nodding in admiration at lovingly rendered descriptions.’ Time Out UK