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'Edited' by Patrick White, these memoirs are a stage upon which the Nobel Prize winner himself appears, a supporting actor and anxious director of his many-faceted, spell-binding leading lady, Alex Xenophon Demirjian Gray.

Enter Alex: quick-change artist of many personae - re-enacting all that she has experienced in her various lives. We see her as Cassiani, the nun with unexpectedly blue eyes, sweeper of mouse droppings, lover of Onouphrios the monk, who is rejected by the 'Christians' of Nisos as an evil-eyed sorceress; as Sister Benedict, who on the Feast of the Kippers leads the frailest member of her order into the bush, there to learn the source of goodness; as Dolly Formosa, star-turn of 'Alex Gray's Theatrical Tour of Outback Australia', dispensing culture to a reluctant audience. These are just a sampling of a host of guises. We also see Alex in her suburban Sydney home, exasperating her daughter Hilda, who cannot imagine the great flights her mother's temperament requires and which the state of her mind allows.

Reviews

The startling achievement of this often bitter and savage book is not only the remarkable beauty of its prose but the geniality, even the familiarity of the erotically madcap Alex Gray. We slip into this madness as into a second skin

Carol Hill, Los Angeles Times

Formats & editions

  • EBook

    9781446435274

    March 1, 2011

    Vintage Digital

    192 pages

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Also by Patrick White

Happy Valley: Text Classics
Happy Valley:Text Classics
Voss
The Vivisector
The Hanging Garden
Riders In The Chariot
The Twyborn Affair
The Eye Of The Storm (film tie-in)
A Fringe Of Leaves
Collected Short Stories
The Living And The Dead
The Burnt Ones
The Solid Mandala
The Aunt's Story
The Tree Of Man

Recommendations

The Handmaid's Tale
To Kill A Mockingbird
Echo Burning
A Gentleman in Moscow
Best Laid Plans
Fool Me Once
The Golden House
The Girl on the Train
The Heart's Invisible Furies
Voyager
Swing Time
The Curious Incident of the Dog In the Night-time
The Narrow Road to the Deep North
The Girls
Cold Blood
Fifty Shades Darker
The Trip of a Lifetime
Colombiano
The Light Between Oceans
Ready Player One