Free freight for all book orders

Introduction by Peter Craven

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.


Media highlights:
‘On republishing Happy Valley’ by Publisher Michael Heyward
Review by Peter Craven, ABC, The Drum
Review by Whispering Gums

1._classics_button

Praise for Patrick White and Happy Valley:

‘[Patrick White] was a prophet, and from his sublime mountaintop, he sent down lightning bolts on our callow heads. Some of these bolts are vivid in Happy Valley, his first novel, published in 1939 and now reissued…The novel stands up well in the high company of its later brethren. It prefigures the greatness to come, and is a more adventurously wrought than many of our own age. White is a mesmerising narrator whose prose illuminates the most ordinary object and event in new and gripping ways.’

Thomas Keneally, Guardian

Happy Valley will be a joy for any fan. Here we see a sensibility not so much forming as finding, and owning, itself.’

Weekend Australian

‘This is a remarkable first novel, already discernible as the performance of a master whose apprentice work cannot be glimpsed. We are fortunate indeed that Text has reopened the front door in the house of Patrick White’s fiction.’

Canberra Times

‘My favourite Australian novel was by a newcomer — well, a newcomer in 1939. A sardonic, grotesque, oddly moving ensemble of piece about thwarted lives in a dismal country town, Happy Valley presages the later Patrick White, but is also refreshingly original and feels as contemporary as the latest bestseller.’

Jane Sullivan, Australian Book Review

Happy Valley is a harsh and unsparing picture of a prematurely exhausting, life-denying Australia. It’s a world full of violence, adultery and financial ruin, in which nothing will ever change. White’s main focus, as in his great later novels, is the thwarted spiritual yearning of his characters. But this is also a superb anatomy of Australian society.’

Metro Magazine (NZ)
9781921922916_large_cover

Patrick White

Patrick_victor_martindale_white_regular

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… »


There are other editions of this book:

Ebookicon
  • RRP: $24.95
  • Pub date: 22/08/2012
  • ISBN: 9781921961175
  • Buy: Ebook retailers
Webad_textprize
Classics_tile
Web_tile
Cat_tile_2014a