Issue Details: First known date: 2016... 2016 On Reading The Aunt’s Story by Patrick White
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'The Aunt's Story was published in 1948. It was White's third novel, after Happy Valley and The Living and the Dead. He began it not long after the end of the war and wrote the first section, "Meroe", at a table in London, the second section, "Jardin Exotique", on a balcony in Alexandria, and the third, "Hosstius", on the deck of a ship as he sailed home to Australia. He arrived in Sydney wielding the manuscript as "a shield of a kind", and it was accepted by his American publishers with an acknowledgement that it was very fine but probably wouldn't sell. White was dismayed by the novel's reception in Australia. When his mother Ruth read it, she said to him, "Such a pity you didn't write about a cheery aunt" (White Flaws 58). (Introduction 17)


  • This essay was originally a lecture given in the Sydney Ideas: Reading Australian Literature lecture series in September 2014.

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Last amended 15 Feb 2016 06:47:24
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