The Aunt's Story

The Aunt's Story

Paperback

By (author) Patrick White

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  • Publisher: VINTAGE
  • Format: Paperback | 288 pages
  • Dimensions: 130mm x 199mm x 20mm | 210g
  • Publication date: 27 October 1994
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 0099324016
  • ISBN 13: 9780099324010
  • Sales rank: 77,603

Product description

With the death of her mother, middle-aged Theodora Goodman contemplates the desert of her life. Freed from the trammels of convention she leaves Australia for a European tour and becomes involved with the residents of a small French hotel. But creating other people's lives, even in love and pity, can lead to madness. Her ability to reconcile joy and sorrow is an unbearable torture to her. On the journey home, Theodora finds there is little to choose between the reality of illusion and the illusion of reality. She looks for peace, even if it is beyond the borders of insanity...

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Author information

Patrick White was born in England in 1912. He was taken to Australia (where his father owned a sheep farm) when he was six months old, but 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 He settled in London, where he wrote several unpublished novels, then served in the RAF during the war; he returned after the war to Australia. 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 has turned its vast empty spaces into great mythic landscapes of the soul. His position as 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. Technically brilliant, he is one modern novelist to whom the oft-abused epithet 'visionary' can be safely be applied. He died in September 1990.

Editorial reviews

A strange and rather confusing story which unfortunately echoes a pattern recognizable to many- the growing into mental unbalance of a woman who has never savored life in her own right. Theodora Goodman, sallow, plain, honest and sensitive child, grew up in a more or less typical small American town, having nothing to show for her life but the care of a crotchety mother- and the pleasure of her niece and nephews. Her one suitor, considered by her mother a most "eligible" man, she "went with" for a time with no flicker of emotion, and turned down marriage, feeling that she was too plain- and her mother wanted it too much. Freed- at 45-by her mother's death, she sets out to see the world, stepping at last in a Paris pension where she shared the lives of a motley group by enlarging in her imagination upon casual encounters - a period which grew in unreality and incoherence. Then, when the pension burned, she went home where her uncertain sanity quietly disintegrated as her thwarted nature became more repressed and ingrown. The period of her childhood had a certain poignancy, but for this reader the novel loses flavor and interest as the bitter and approaches. - A psychological novel, dealing with mental problems- of appeal to a fairly defined audience. (Kirkus Reviews)