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Happy Valley : Text Classics - Patrick White

Happy Valley

Text Classics

By: Patrick White, Peter Craven (Introduction by)

Paperback | 25 June 2014 | Edition Number 1

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Patrick White's magnificent debut novel—first published 1939, long out of print and now a Text Classic.

Based on Patrick White's own experiences in the early 1930s as a jackaroo at Bolaro, near Adaminaby in south-eastern New South Wales, Happy Valley paints a portrait of a community in a desolate landscape. It is a jagged and restless study of small-town and country life.

White was twenty-seven when Happy Valley was published by George C. Harrop in London. This mesmerising first novel gives us a prolonged glimpse of literary genius in the making. It won the Australian Literature Society Gold Medal in 1941, but White did not allow the novel to be republished in English in his lifetime. Its appearance now in the Text Classics series is a major literary event. Happy Valley is the missing piece in the extraordinary jigsaw of White's work.

About the Author

Paul Edward Theroux (born April 10, 1941) is an American travel writer and novelist, whose best known work of travel writing is perhaps The Great Railway Bazaar (1975). He has published numerous works of fiction, some of which were made into feature films. He was awarded the 1981 James Tait Black Memorial Prize for his novel The Mosquito Coast on which the 1986 movie is based.
Industry Reviews
'[Patrick White] was a prophet, and from his sublime mountaintop, he sent down lightning bolts on our callow heads. Some of these bolts are vivid in Happy Valley, his first novel, published in 1939 and now reissued...The novel stands up well in the high company of its later brethren. It prefigures the greatness to come, and is a more adventurously wrought than many of our own age. White is a mesmerising narrator whose prose illuminates the most ordinary object and event in new and gripping ways.' -- Thomas Keneally * Guardian *
'Happy Valley will be a joy for any fan. Here we see a sensibility not so much forming as finding, and owning, itself.' * Weekend Australian *
'My favourite Australian novel was by a newcomer - well, a newcomer in 1939. A sardonic, grotesque, oddly moving ensemble of piece about thwarted lives in a dismal country town, Happy Valley presages the later Patrick White, but is also refreshingly original and feels as contemporary as the latest bestseller.' -- Jane Sullivan * Australian Book Review *
'Happy Valley is a harsh and unsparing picture of a prematurely exhausting, life-denying Australia. It's a world full of violence, adultery and financial ruin, in which nothing will ever change. White's main focus, as in his great later novels, is the thwarted spiritual yearning of his characters. But this is also a superb anatomy of Australian society.' * Metro Magazine (NZ) *