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Killing the Black Dog: A Memoir of Depression by Les Murray

On the last day of 1985, I went home to live in Bunyah, the farming valley I had left some twenty-nine years earlier. My wife and our younger children followed two days later. My father had acquired an old forty-acre selector's block some ten years previously, and we'd built a house for him and for family visits from Sydney. In 1981, we'd extended this in preparation for a move which then got delayed by a family emergency, the diagnosis of autism in out fourth child. But now at last I was going home, to care for my father in his old age and to live in the place from which I'd always felt displaced. What I didn't know was that I was heading home in order to go mad.

Excerpted from Killing the Black Dog: A Memoir of Depression by Les Murray, to be published in March 2011 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux, LLC. Copyright © 2009 by Les Murray. All rights reserved.

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