Epigraph: It is impossible to do away with the law of suffering, which is the one indispensable condition of our being. Progress is to be measured by the amount of suffering undergone ... the purer the suffering, the greater is the progress. - Mahatma Gandhi.
Peter Craven concludes his introduction to Patrick White's Happy Valley by saying that the novel 'is a book we need to rediscover. It gives us White as a fledgling novelist, as fresh and wonderstruck and full of a desire to recreate the world as ever Australia was blessed with.'
'Happy Valley, Patrick White’s brooding, dystopic portrayal of small-town life in the high country of New South Wales, builds to a crisis: a shocking spousal homicide. A bored woman, saddled with a dull, sickly mate, takes up with a virile overseer and she pays a fearful price for her infidelity when her husband explodes in rage. The future Nobel Prize–winning author drew on his experience working as a jackaroo in the region to evoke the setting and characters of his first novel. But the plot twist was true to life, then as now, when intimacy and violence, desire and despair, intertwine.' (Introduction)