Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
The Hanging Garden: A Novel Paperback – May 28, 2013
"Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress"
Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? Cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, and instead, follow the data: In seventy-five jaw-dropping graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise. Learn more
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
In January 1981, having posted his completed autobiography, Flaws in the Glass, to his editor for review, White—the only Australian ever to have won the Nobel Prize for Literature—immediately began work on his next novel. It was to be a love story, tracing the intertwined paths of two young adolescents who have escaped the war in Europe to find tenderness despite bleak and foreign circumstance. Eirene is from Greece; her Communist father was murdered in prison, and her mother has abandoned her in Australia to return to the war (and her new lover). Gilbert, lean, blond, and rapidly shedding his boyhood, has been sent to Sydney to escape the Blitz. Their connection is initially elusive, fraught with childhood politics and the bristling closed-off-ness of orphaned children. But, one senses, there are profound and beautiful epiphanies in store for the young lovers. The precise contours of these moments are, however, left for us to imagine: White, failing in health and increasingly distracted by political issues, stopped work on the story in April (on ANZAC Day, Australia’s Memorial Day, to be precise) and never completed it. This book is, therefore, but a glimpse—a tantalizing, sensate, glimpse—of one of the twentieth century’s top writers, in raw but still beautiful form. --Brendan Driscoll
“The Hanging Garden is a novel for our time--a story about parentless children, mistreated by a world that, by its lights, intends no harm but nonetheless does enduring damage....David Marr, White's biographer, and others dedicated to White's memory, decided to give us The Hanging Garden. They were right to do so, and we should thank them for it.” ―John Sutherland, The New York Times Book Review
“The creative intelligence behind the prose is as intense and the characterization as deft as anywhere in White...The world is a richer place now that we have The Hanging Garden.” ―J.M. Coetzee, The New York Review of Books
“[The Hanging Garden is] a beautifully executed, deeply moving story about the blossoming young love in a dangerous and unpredictable world....A powerful novel about loss and love that fans of literary fiction will appreciate.” ―Library Journal
“[The Hanging Garden is] a complete, complex, and beautiful portrait, an important addition to classic contemporary fiction.” ―Publishers Weekly (starred)
“[The Hanging Garden] is, therefore, but a glimpse--a tantalizing, sensate, glimpse--of one of the twentieth century's top writers, in raw but still beautiful form.” ―Booklist
“Patrick White re-creates the world by depicting the life we think we know in an entirely original and luminous way. Everything about The Hanging Garden, his final novel, is thrilling, consummate, and revelatory....A rare and wonderful gift to White devotees and a perfect introduction for new readers.” ―Peter Cameron, author of Coral Glynn
“Atmospheric and unsettling. White's writing is infused with a powerful sense of yearning and loss. A book poignant with the uncertainty and bewilderment of childhood's passing.” ―Tan Twan Eng, author of The Garden of Evening Mists
“One of the most vivid, erotically charged, emotionally wrenching works of fiction I've read this century.” ―The Canberra Times (Australia)
“White is a mesmerizing narrator whose prose illuminates the most ordinary object and event in new and gripping ways....[He] was one of those writers who won the Nobel prize for literature because he really deserved it.” ―Thomas Keneally, The Guardian
“[Patrick White] slashes through euphemism and distraction to reach a linguistic plane on which he can say what things actually are, in an idiom at once poetic and acute....Entering White's sanctum requires a purification ritual.” ―The Millions
“[The Hanging Garden is] a complete, complex, and beautiful portrait, an important addition to classic contemporary fiction.” ―Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“White's novels [are] boldly ambitious, inventive, sensual, eloquent…shrewd and tender about its two protagonists.” ―The Spectator (United Kingdom)
“The late, virtuosic performance of a master. Here is White conjuring in 200 pages one of the most vivid, erotically charged, emotionally wrenching works of fiction, I've read this century.” ―The Age (Australia)
“The Hanging Garden returns fiction to greatness. Reading it brings exhilaration, tinged with dismay at our diminished expectations of the literary novel....A gift.” ―The Monthly (Australia)
“White's incessant questions--Is there anything beyond the physical world? May there be loving human unions beyond the carnal?--are posed here in ways as profound and subtle as anywhere else in his work. The Hanging Garden recalls us to the truth that great novels are those where the free play of the author's imagination reveals the fetters of gender or caste we wear in reality.” ―The Australian
“Here, too, is the Sydney of White's childhood--lush, humid, sensual, a magic place in which children might hide themselves…It is an elegant, elegiac ending to a work that--however conceived in its full extent--brims with freshness and acuity. The Hanging Garden may be unfinished, but it does not feel incomplete.” ―Peter Pierce, The Canberra Times
“Always engaging and intermittently brilliant.” ―Australian Book Review
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Developing his themes of identity and connection (or lack of it) in an unfinished book that he never tried to publish, author Patrick White keeps his story line simple by using children as the main characters while he experiments with a variety of writing techniques very different from the bold, straight-forward narrative style of his longer, more famous early novels. This novel very nearly remained unpublished and unknown. White had indicated before his death in 1990 that he wanted all his incomplete works destroyed, but though he did have the opportunity to destroy this work himself, he let it remain intact during his lifetime. It was not until 2010 that his executor gave her permission for this novel to be published.
The result is a rare opportunity to read a hand-written and personally edited novel by Nobel Prize winner Patrick White, which, in addition to being a good story, provides an unprecedented, direct insight into how he thinks and creates. This novel, according to David Marr, who wrote the Afterword, was intended to be presented in three parts, of which this manuscript was to be Part I. The ending of the novel as we see it here is a bit "thin," compared to the earlier part of the book, but White has a clear sense of direction with his story and his characters and has left all his literary experimentation intact.
The constantly shifting points of view take some getting used to. Initially, these are not clearly delineated and the reader knows nothing about the individual characters to give clues to who is "speaking." Gradually, Eirene and Gil begin to emerge as their own persons, and the reader begins to understand their backgrounds, their memories of "home," and their reactions to what is happening to them. Sometimes, the points of view change several times within a single paragraph, and White even introduces a stream-of-consciousness style. White's gift for description keeps the reader engaged, even when the children's points of view and the narrative line may be challenging. His children act like children throughout, even as they question who they are and where they belong, and give a liveliness to the novel which benefits from the novel's experimental style. This work is a major contribution to the understanding of Patrick White and his writing, and readers familiar with White's work will treasure the insights even as they enjoy the characters and empathize with their struggles.
I won this book via goodreads and treasure the ability to know what never will be from this author.
Their story is in present tense; past occurrence or present confusion is immediate as the reader hears their thoughts and feels their emotions. The language the author uses is vivid and metaphoric; and the tone is poignant. The “voice” is very imaginative and unique, often going on without punctuation just as a child would think.