White, Patrick, 1912–90, Australian novelist, b. London. Raised in England and educated at Cambridge, he returned to Australia after World War II, earning his living by farming and writing. His novels—often set in the Australian outback—usually portray the suffering of extraordinary people. His style relies heavily on description. His novels include The Happy Valley (1939), The Aunt's Story (1948), The Tree of Man (1955), Voss (1957), which made his literary reputation, Riders in the Chariot (1961), The Vivisector (1970), The Eye of the Storm (1974), The Twyborn Affair (1980), and Memoirs of Many in One by Xenophon Demirjian Gray (1986). The Hanging Garden, the first third of a novel written in 1981 and unfinished at his death, was published in 2012. The Cockatoos (1975) is a collection of his short stories. White was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1973.
See his autobiography Flaws in the Glass (1981); biography by D. Marr (1992); studies by G. Laigle (1989), L. Steven (1989), and P. Wolfe (1990).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.