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.