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Unpublished Patrick White novel to not be unpublished

First a cache of Dashiell Hammett stories is uncovered among the late author’s papers in Texas. Then a novel by the late Chilean writer Roberto Bolaño gets serialized in the pages of the Paris Review. Now news breaks that a novel by Patrick White, considered by many to be Australia’s finest writer, will be published in 2012, the centenary of the author’s birth. Called The Hanging Garden, the novel was among a trove of papers that literary executor Barbara Mobbs was instructed to burn after the author’s death. According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Mobbs vacillated for more than a decade before deciding that the book deserves to see the light of day.

From the SMH:

Last year, Sydney University academics Margaret Harris and Elizabeth Webby had the handwritten manuscript transcribed with funding from an Australian Research Council grant.

Ms Mobbs had the typescript in January. She read, consulted, and read again.

The decision was made about 10 days ago.

Just who will publish The Hanging Garden is now up in the air after Random House jumped the gun by announcing its appearance.

In deciding not to destroy White’s work despite the author’s stated demands, Mobbs joins the likes of Max Brod, who allowed Franz Kafka’s work to appear following the author’s death, and Dimitri Nabokov, who decided to overrule his father Vladimir’s wishes and give permission for the author’s final, unfinished book, The Original of Laura, to be published last year.

  • mj turner

    Hey, what’s with that headline? Does that mean it’s going to be published? If it stops being unpublished but doesn’t get published, what will happen to it?

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Book Pictures

Do you have great photos from a recent book event in Canada that you'd like to share with us? Submit them to the Quill & Quire Flickr pool and they'll show up here.

Eva Stachniak's Empress of the Night

Eva Stachniak poses with a copy of her book, Empress of the Night

Tea and snacks inspired by Eva Stachniak's Empress of the Night

Rimma Burashko with author Eva Stachniak

Eva Stachniak talks to the audience about the best and worst of Catherine the Great's favourites

Eva Stachniak smiles as she signs a copy of Empress of the Night for a fan

Fans wait in line to have their copies of Empress of the Night signed by Eva Stachniak

Fans wait in line to have their copies of Empress of the Night signed by Eva Stachniak

Lesley Strutt, Dean Steadman, Amanda Earl, Alastair Larwill and Frances Boyle

Frances Boyle, Dean Steadman, Lesley Strutt and Alastair Larwill

Amanda Earl

Jewel of the Thames launch

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