The Hanging Garden

The Hanging Garden


By (author) Patrick White

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  • Publisher: Jonathan Cape Ltd
  • Format: Hardback | 240 pages
  • Dimensions: 138mm x 216mm x 26mm | 358g
  • Publication date: 5 April 2012
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 0224097237
  • ISBN 13: 9780224097239
  • Sales rank: 41,475

Product description

Two children are brought to a wild garden on the shores of Sydney Harbour to shelter from the Second World War. The boy's mother has died in the Blitz. The girl is the daughter of a Sydney woman and a Communist executed in a Greek prison. In wartime Australia, these two children form an extraordinary bond as they negotiate the dangers of life as strangers abandoned on the far side of the world. With the tenderness and rigour of an old, wise novelist, Patrick White explores the world of these children, the city of his childhood and the experience of war. "The Hanging Garden" ends as the news reaches Sydney of victory in Europe, and the children face their inevitable separation. White put the novel aside at this point and how he planned to finish the work remains a mystery. But at his death he left behind a masterpiece in the making, published here for the first time.

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Author information

Patrick White was born in England in 1912. His Australian parents took him home when he was six months old but educated him in England, at Cheltenham College and King's College, Cambridge. He settled in London, where his first novel, Happy Valley, was published to some acclaim in 1939. After serving in the RAF during the Second World War he returned to Australia with his partner, Manoly Lascaris. The novels, short stories and plays that followed The Tree of Man in 1956 made White a considerable figure in world literature. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1973. The Hanging Garden was begun and put aside in 1981 when White was lured away to write once again for the theatre. The unfinished novel was found among his papers after his death in September 1990.

Review quote

"[A] coherent and polished read, shrewd and tender about its two protagonists... Arresting." -- Richard Davenport-Hines Spectator "What is instantly apparent is White's mastery of his art. He does what so many other writers ought to be able to do easily but often can't, which is set a scene economically and vividly." -- Alan Taylor Herald "In Patrick White's centenary year, fans of Australia's only Nobel Laureate had two treats: the publication of his unfinished last novel, The Hanging Garden and the reissue of his first, Happy Valley." -- Nicholas Shakespeare Daily Telegraph "It is frustrating and tantalising that The Hanging Garden is left, well, hanging." -- Robert Macfarlane Sunday Times