Patrick White Patrick White Letters

ISBN 13: 9780226895031

Patrick White Letters

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9780226895031: Patrick White Letters
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"Letters are the devil, and I always hope that any I have written have been destroyed."—Patrick White

Patrick White spent his whole life writing letters. He wanted them all burnt, but thousands survive to reveal him as one of the greatest letter-writers of his time. Patrick White: Letters is an unexpected and final volume of prose by Australia's most acclaimed novelist. Only a few scraps of White's letters have been published before.

From the aftermath of the First World War until his death in 1990, letters poured from White's pen: they are shrewd, funny, dramatic, pigheaded, camp, and above all, hauntingly beautiful. He wrote novels to sway a hostile world, but letters were for friends.

The culmination of ten years' work and reflection by David Marr, author of the well-received biography Patrick White: A Life, the volume tells the story of White's life in his own words. These are the letters of a great writer, a profound critic, a gossip with the sharpest eyes and tongue, a man who loved and hated ferociously, a keen cook, an angry patriot, and a believer never free of doubt.

"A literary milestone."—Kirkus Reviews

"Mean-spirited and brilliant, the 600 letters collected here offer real insight into the life of the Nobel-Prize winning Australian author. White's venom is matched by his torment, and the whole volume is redeemed by outstanding writing."—Publisher's Weekly ("Best Books 96")

"[T]hose who come to these letters after having read Marr's biography will expect more than shop talk from the master novelist. They will expect the bracing bitchiness of a master curmudgeon. And they will not be disappointed."—Frank Wilson, Philadelphia Inquirer

Patrick White (1912-1990), Australian novelist and playwright, won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1973. His many novels include Voss, The Twyborn Affair, and Riders in the Chariot.

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Review:

Patrick White (1912-1990), author of The Living and the Dead, 1973 Nobel Laureate in Literature, officially Australian but also partly upper-crust Englishman by education, rejected alike English stuffiness and Australian philistinism. These letters, edited by his biographer David Marr, chronicle White's gradual reluctant engagement with the world: his interest in Jewish culture after an early ignorant anti-Semitism; his idyllic wartime period in West Africa; his passionate and rancorous anti-royalism, sparked by the 1975 Australian constitutional crisis when the British Queen's representative sacked the Prime Minister; his deep held belief in the validity of homosexual unions, based on his own life-long relationship. These letters give an inner glimpse of a mostly private life.

From the Back Cover:

His seventy-year correspondence from childhood in the First World War until his death in 1990 is earthy, shrewd, camp, savage, dramatic, very funny and free. White wrote novels to impress a hostile world, but most of his correspondence was written to amuse, inform, and, at times, upbraid his friends. He was an old man before he wrote fiction as easy and direct as the best of his letters. White kept no copies of his correspondence and all the letters he received were thrown away. As friends and relations died and bundles of his own letters came back to him, White destroyed them. He spoke of his perpetual shedding as a way of keeping free of the past's stale entanglements. As early as the 1950s, he urged his correspondents to burn his letters. A few of White's correspondents did so; some lied that they had; most carefully stored White's letters away. This collection, the culmination of ten years' work and reflection by David Marr, author of the well-received biography Patrick White: A Life, tells the story of White's life in his own words. These are the letters of a great writer, a profound critic, a gossip with the sharpest eyes and tongue, a man who loved and hated ferociously, a keen cook, an angry patriot, and a believer never free of doubt. Patrick White: Letters is an unexpected and final volume of prose by Australia's most acclaimed novelist writing on everything from cooking and dogs to global politics. Only a few scraps of White's letters have been published before.

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9780091830878: Patrick White Letters

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ISBN 10:  0091830877 ISBN 13:  9780091830878
Publisher: Vintage Books, 1996
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