"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 .