Patrick White - Biography

Patrick White (1912-1990), novelist and playwright, is the only Australian author to have won the Nobel Prize for Literature (in 1973). White was born in London to a family of Hunter River graziers and spent his youth between England and Australia, at one point returning from study abroad to work as a jackeroo. After a spell as an intelligence officer in North Africa during World War II, he returned to Australia with Manoly Lascaris. The two men were partners for fifty years, while White's friendships with many others were turbulent and often cruelly curtailed. White's novels include The Aunt's Story, The Tree of Man, Voss, Riders in the Chariot, The Vivisector, The Eye of the Storm, and The Twyborn Affair. Flaws in the Glass (1981) is his 'straight' autobiography. The later Memoirs of Many in One, by contrast, is a novel in which the elderly female protagonist - a kind of exuberantly cross-dressed White - delights in taunting her prim old friend, the character Patrick White. Freelance photographer William Yang was part of White's circle from 1977 onwards, and documented his life and work in the book Patrick White: The late years.

Literature - A List of Winners