Elizabeth Hunter, an ex-socialite in her eighties, has a mystical experience during a summer storm in Sydney which transforms all her relationships: her existence becomes charged with a meaning which communicates itself to those around her. From this simple scenario Patrick White unfurls a monumental exploration of the tides of love and hate, comedy and tragedy, impotence and and longing that fester within family relationships.
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Beautiful and heroic...Every passage merits attention and gives satisfaction - New York Times Book Review
One of the greatest magicians of fiction ... White's scope is vast and his invention endless - Observer
Patrick White is, in the finest sense, a world novelist. His themes are catholic and complex and he pursues them with a single-minded energy and vision - Guardian
The outstanding figure in Australian fiction - New York Times
In his major postwar novels, the pain and earnestness of the individual’s quest for ‘meaning and design’ can be felt more intensely than perhaps anywhere else in contemporary Western prose - Sunday Times
An antipodean King Lear writ gentle and tragicomic, almost Chekhovian . . . an intensely dramatic masterpiece. - The Australian
Patrick White was born in England in 1912 and taken to Australia, where his father owned a sheep farm, when he was six months old. He was educated in England at Cheltenham college and King's College, Cambridge. He settled in London, where he wrote several unpublished novels, then served in the RAF during the war. He returned to Australia after the war. He became the most considerable figure in modern Australian literature, awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1973. The great poet of Australian landscape, he turned its vast empty spaces into great mythic landscapes of the soul. His position as a man of letters was controversial, provoked by his acerbic, unpredictable public statements and his belief that it is eccentric individuals who offer the only hope of salvation. He died in September 1990.