Patrick White - LETTERS. Edited by David Marr
At his death in 1990, Patrick White had achieved wide fame as a novelist. Australian, winner of the Nobel prize for Literature, author of more than a dozen works of fiction, a handful of plays, and many other books, he was known as a creative writer of power, vehemence and intense imagination.
But Patrick white was more than a novelist. He was also one of the greatest letter-writers of his time. He spent his lie writing letters, huge numbers of them to friends, acquaintances, newspapers, even enemies (of which he had an abundance). shrewd, funny, hauntingly beautiful, dramatic, pig-headed, and above all direct and relaxed, they poured from his pen over a period of seventy years, from childhood until shortly before his death. So remarkable are the letters that despite his frequent injunction that they be burned, most recipients insisted on saving them. thousands survive.
We should be thankful that they do. For these are the letters of a great writer, a profound critic, a gossip with the sharpest eyes and tongue in the country, a man who loved and hated ferociously, a keen cook, an angry patriot, and a believer never free of doubt. This stunning selection is the result of more than ten years of work and reflection on the part of White's biographer, David Marr. When Patrick White:A life was published to great acclaim in 1991, Marr had several thousand letters in hand; he has located another thousand since. Out of this mass he has chosen some 600 of the very best to let White tell the story of his life in his own words.