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The Cockatoos

Introduction by Gail Jones

These six short novels and stories achieve the majesty and power of the best of Patrick White’s great novels. They probe beneath the surface of events – a sexual lapse, the unaccustomed climate of a foreign country, interruptions in a cherished routine, a death, a toothache – to expose a deeper, truer reality.

Patrick White
About the Author

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...

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Gail Jones
About the Introducer

Gail Jones is one of Australia’s most celebrated writers. She is the author of two short-story collections and nine novels, and her work has been translated into several languages and has received numerous literary awards. Originally from Western Australia, she now lives in Sydney.

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Text publication date:
4 June 2019
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Praise for Patrick White
andThe Cockatoos

The Cockatoos…is superb. It is a slow, beautiful dance of love and death.’

‘[White’s] style in this collection of stories is taut and his language knowing, almost savage, in its ironies. Never does he swerve from a tone of complete authority, nor are his portrayals of human frailty ever less than bitingly perceptive.’

‘To read Patrick White…is to touch a source of power, to move through areas made new and fresh, to see men and women with a sharpened gaze.’

‘White is a shifty, complex artist with the ability to hit and run at any point in his narrative – maintaining a distance from emotional involvement while inexorably tightening those screws.’

‘White’s work is a towering achievement’

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