Happy Valley: Text Classics

Front Cover
Text Publishing Company, Aug 22, 2012 - Fiction - 352 pages
1 Review
Patrick White’s magnificent debut novel—first published 1939, long out of print and now a Text Classic.

Based on Patrick White’s own experiences in the early 1930s as a jackaroo at Bolaro, near Adaminaby in south-eastern New South Wales, Happy Valley paints a portrait of a community in a desolate landscape. It is a jagged and restless study of small-town and country life.

White was twenty-seven when Happy Valley was published by George C. Harrop in London. This mesmerising first novel gives us a prolonged glimpse of literary genius in the making. It won the Australian Literature Society Gold Medal in 1941, but White did not allow the novel to be republished in English in his lifetime. Its appearance now in the Text Classics series is a major literary event.

Happy Valley
is the missing piece in the extraordinary jigsaw of White’s work.

What people are saying - Write a review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - RobinDawson - LibraryThing

I'm so glad Text re-published White's first novel. His later works are rather serious and cerebral but this is altogether different. It's very funny, a very sharply observed satire on rural life in a ... Read full review

Other editions - View all

About the author (2012)

Patrick White was born in England in 1912 and taken to Australia, where his father owned a sheep farm, when he was six months old. He was educated in England and served in the RAF, before returning to Australia after World War II.

Happy Valley, White’s first novel, is set in a small country town in the Snowy Mountains and is based on his experiences in the early 1930s as a jackaroo at Bolaro, near Adaminaby in south-eastern New South Wales.

In Happy Valley White found a more honest ‘lumbering after truth’ than in the plays he had written to date. He said, ‘I began to write from the inside out when Roy de Maistre introduced me to abstract painting’, and he dedicated the novel to the artist.

White went on to publish twelve further novels (one posthumously), three short-story collections and eight plays. His novels include The Aunt’s Story and Voss, which won the inaugural Miles Franklin Literary Award, The Eye of the Storm and The Twyborn Affair.

He was the first Australian to win the Nobel Prize for Literature, in 1973, and is considered one of the foremost novelists of the twentieth century.

White died in 1990, aged seventy-eight.

Bibliographic information