Patrick White (1912-90) is the only Australian to have won the Nobel Prize for Literature. By 1973, when he received that award for having “introduced a new continent into literature”, he had acquired an international reputation for his novels, which had been first published in America and England before being translated into many languages. The basic situation recurring throughout his prolific writing is the attempt, most often by individuals alienated from society, to grasp some higher, more essential reality beyond or behind social existence. While his characters are poetically presented as seeking a state of pure being – which they have intuitively glimpsed either in childhood, in a crucial moment of illumination or …
Kiernan, Brian. "Patrick White". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 29 August 2005; last revised 30 November -1.
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