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Patrick White Edit Profile

writer

Patrick White was an Australian author who was widely regarded as a major English-language novelist of the second half of the 20th century, the grand old master of Australian literature.

Education

At the age of ten, White was sent to Tudor House School, a boarding school in the Southern Highlands of New South Wales, in an attempt to abate his asthma. It took him some time to adjust to the presence of other children. At boarding school he started to write plays. Even at this early age, White wrote about palpably adult themes.

Career

Novels

Happy Valley (1939)

The Living and the Dead (1941)

The Aunt's Story (1948)

The Tree of Man (1955)

Voss (1957)

Riders in the Chariot (1961)

The Solid Mandala (1966)

The Vivisector (1970)

The Eye of the Storm (1973)

A Fringe of Leaves (1976)

The Twyborn Affair (1979)

Memoirs of Many in One (1986)

The Hanging Garden (2012)



Plays

Bread and Butter Women (1935) Unpublished.

The School for Friends (1935) Unpublished.

Return to Abyssinia (1948) Unpublished.

The Ham Funeral (1947) prem. Union Theatre, Adelaide, 1961.

The Season at Sarsaparilla (1962)

A Cheery Soul (1963)

Night on Bald Mountain (1964)

Big Toys (1977)

Signal Driver: a Morality Play for the Times (1982)

Netherwood (1983)

Shepherd on the Rocks (1987)



Short story collections

The Burnt Ones (1964)

The Cockatoos (1974)

Three Uneasy Pieces (1987)



Autobiography

Flaws in the Glass (1981)

“The basic theme in Patrick White is mankind’s search for a meaning for, and a value in, existence. The mystery of the human psyche offers him a challenge which has shown itself to be fruitful. Nothing in his works would suggest any doubts that this earthly existence is the only one mankind has been granted, and that we are dependent on our fellows for its perfection. That White is aware of forces beyond apparent reality does not mean that he believes in a life after death. It is in order to make the only existence of his “elect” meaningful that he sends them out on the oaths of suffering.” (Ingmar Björksten in Patrick White: General Introduction, 1976).

Connections

father:
Victor - English

mother:
Ruth - English

life partner:
Manoly Lascaris