The Twyborn Affair

The Twyborn Affair

  • Paperback
By (author)

List price: US$12.64

Currently unavailable

We can notify you when this item is back in stock

Add to wishlist

AbeBooks may have this title (opens in new window).

Try AbeBooks

Description

Eddie Twyborn is bisexual and beautiful, the son of a Judge and a drunken mother. With his androgynous hero - Eudoxia/Eddie/Eadith Twyborn - and through his search for identity, for self-affirmation and love in its many forms, Patrick White takes us into the ambiguous landscapes, sexual, psychological and spiritual, of the human condition.

show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 432 pages
  • 129 x 198 x 25mm | 299g
  • Vintage Publishing
  • VINTAGE
  • London, United Kingdom
  • 0099458217
  • 9780099458210
  • 169,511

Review quote

"[An] exploration of an extremely slippery characterological realm offers many substantial pleasures" -- Benjamin DeMott New York Times "It challenges comparison with some of the world's most bizarre masterpieces" Financial Times "Patrick White is, in the finest sense, a world novelist. His themes are catholic and complex and he persues them with a single-minded energy and vision" -- Robert Nye Guardian

show more

Review Text

Transvestism, hermaphroditism, reincarnation, or just plain literary whimsy? You won't know which of these is the key to White's wide-rangingly playful, sometimes deeply beautiful (and sometimes airy-fairy) novel until the last few pages, when it's a little more than half-revealed. We begin in 1914, on the Riviera, where Eudoxia, an Australian "woman," is the mistress of a wealthy, aged Greek; she's plagued this one summer, though, by the presence of one Joan Golson, a Sydney matron on holiday who was a long-time lover of Eudoxia's mother, Eadie Twyborn. Then. . . skip ahead a few years: it's after the war, and now, Orlando-style, Eudoxia is named Eddie - yes, a male. After seeing combat in France, Eddie returns Down Under and gets a job, through a friend of the family, working as a "jackeroo" - a ranchhand - on a large sheep ranch in the outback. There, it's up for grabs whom he more lusts after: the virile foreman Don Prowse or the ranch-owner's wife, Marcia Lushington. (No light touches these names.) In fact, he has them both, which cancels them out equally - and then he's off. So much for Eddie. The curtain reopens years later on Eadith Trist, "the bawd of Beckwith Street," owner of an exclusive London bordello but chaste as a nun herself (by now the reader can well suspect why). And when, just as London begins to be German-bombed, Eadith encounters her mother Eadie, and readies herself to be revealed, she's killed in the street by a falling building. Silly? Yes. But out of this baroque, shadowed, I-don't-give-a-damn invention, White draws some astonishingly lovely tones; the novella-like structure and the things-are-not-what-they-seem lightness allow him to linger on his style, which often responds marvelously. Stare at it too hard and this fabrication will collapse into a pile of sequins. But if you accept the terms of the waltz with Eudoxia/Eddie/Eadith, it's fun and - for White's shining prose - sometimes even more than that. (Kirkus Reviews)

show more