Cape to publish unfinished Patrick White novel

Cape to publish unfinished Patrick White novel

Jonathan Cape will publish the unfinished novel The Hanging Garden by Australian author Patrick White on 5th April 2012 to mark the centenary of his birth.

Publishing director Dan Franklin acquired UK and Commonwealth rights, excluding Australia to the novel from Random House Australia. Franklin described the book as "fantastic and claustrophobic".

The Hanging Garden was begun and put aside in 1981 when White took up some work for the theatre, with the manuscript surviving among his papers until his death in September 1990. His literary executor then preserved them for a further 10 years, deciding whether or not they should be published, as White had instructed all papers be burnt on his death.

The story features two children, brought to a wild garden on the shores of Sydney Harbour to shelter from the Second World War. The boy's mother has died in the Blitz, and the girl is the daughter of a Sydney woman and a Communist executed in a Greek prison. The Hanging Garden ends as the news reaches Sydney of victory in Europe and the children face their inevitable separation.

White's works Voss, Riders in the Chariot and The Vivisector, which was shortlisted for the Lost Man Booker Prize in 2010, will be issued in the Vintage Classics livery in March 2013.