Happy Valley by Patrick White

Reviewed by
September 2012, no. 344

Happy Valley by Patrick White

Reviewed by
September 2012, no. 344

Happy Valley is the first of Patrick White’s novels and it is a consistently compelling book, as well as the exhilarating performance of a great writer in the making. Everyone knows the legend, rooted in truth: that Patrick White finds his voice as a consequence of the war and after discovering the love of his life in Manoly Lascaris; and that the first in the long line of his masterpieces is The Aunt’s Story, which he brings back to Australia with him in 1946, the token of his love/hate for the country which provides the enduring matter of his great works, the intimately suffered homeland which he cannot separate from the compulsions of his own heart.

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