'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.' (From the publisher's website.)
'This chapter turns its attention to the transnational impulse of Patrick White's works: their weaving in and out of spatial, temporal, cultural, linguistic and literary contexts. From as early as White's first novel Happy Valley in 1939, and as late as his recent posthumous novel, The Hanging Garden, dated 1981, we can trace this impulse. [...] Taken together, White's works reveal a consistent set of spatial reference points or coordinates, between and through which they move. These lie within, without and along national boundaries,at the sub-, supra- and transnational levels. This chapter traces the development of White's transnational aesthetic, his representation of transnational flows' [p. 137].