Patrick White, winner of the Nobel Prize and author of more than a dozen novels and plays left behind him a reputation for intense privacy and sometimes savage temper. He was better known for long-held grudges and strained loyalties than for lasting friendships.
Born into a family of rich Hunter River graziers, White suffered lonely years as an expatriate schoolboy and university student in England, then returned to jackeroo in the bleak Snowy Mountains. We see White in pre-war London, writing plays with little success, then as an unlikely RAF intelligence officer in the North African desert. He was drawn back to Australia to write his great novels and engage in political and aesthetic battles with practically everybody.
This biography explores the roots of White's writing and unearths the raw material of his remarkable art. It makes plain the central fact of Patrick White's life as an artist: the homosexuality that formed his view of himself as an outcast and stranger able to penetrate the hearts of both men and women.