The Vintage and the Gleaning is set in a winemaking town in the north-east of Victoria, close to the Murray River. Smithy is a retired shearer turned vineyard worker who has recently been forced to give up drinking after a lifetime of alcoholism. In his new sobriety he is contemplating the world in which he lives and the man he has been and become with a new understanding. Assaulted by long-forgotten memories, Smithy is forced to take stock of his own past. Overwhelmed by feelings of regret, guilt, loss and nostalgia for the past, Smithy is trapped in a blind search for meaning as he realises that he cannot undo the repercussions of his wasted life. He is a desperate and lonely old man seeking beauty in an ugly world. Living in the same town is Charlotte, a young woman in a dangerous relationship, whose misfortunes have led her into an uneasy friendship with Smithy. It is in his confused and ultimately futile attempts to help Charlotte that he seeks redemption.
Shortlisted for Colin Roderick Award 2010. Long-listed for International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award 2011.
Jeremy Chambers was born in 1974 and studied at the University of Melbourne, completing majors in Philosophy and English. He has also undertaken studies with the Australian Centre for Psychoanalysis. He has worked as a furniture removalist, a newspaper distributor and a hardware salesman. He also trained as an amateur boxer. He lives in Melbourne.