Patrick White: The Twyborn Affair

(1784 words)
  • The Literary Encyclopedia. Volume Australian Writing and Culture.

The Twyborn Affair (1979) is the last of Patrick White’s novels. It critically confronts the politics of sex and reveals White’s private, inner-world. The novel anticipated the representation of traditionally invisible and alternative models of sexuality in literature, which according to Robert Dessaix, were given topicality in the 1980s and 1990s due to a loosening of sexual repression. White however, did not intend his novel to be a piece of queer activism.

As a psychological tripartite novel, it shows the progress of an ambiguous gender-bender character who bears a new name for each part of his/her life. The protagonist is first Eudoxia (the sexual partner of an ageing Greek man), then Eddie Twyborn (w…

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Vernay, Jean-François. "The Twyborn Affair". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 16 October 2006
[, accessed 10 October 2015.]