... dedicated to finding caring homes world-wide for orphaned books

HOME
BROWSE
ADVANCED SEARCH
SECURE SITE
SHOPPING TROLLEY
POSTAGE
EMAIL
WHO ARE WE? TESTIMONIALS LINKS CONTACT  DETAILS
WRITERS
ANECDOTES & BIOGRAPHIES
Search our stock
for books by or about
TOM KENEALLY

Search our stock
for books about
WRITERS

Search our stock for
AUSTRALIAN  FICTION

We invite you
to read our

ANECDOTES
on
C.J.Dennis
Dame Mary Gilmore (1)
Dame Mary Gilmore (2)
Frank Hardy
Norman Lindsay
Nettie Palmer & Friends
Hill of Content
George Robertson
Miles Franklin
E.J.'Ted' Banfield
Frank Dalby Davison
Henry Lawson
Joan Lindsay

and other
BIOGRAPHIES
on
Thomas Keneally
Peter Carey
Bryce Courtenay
John Marsden
Colleen McCullough
Ruth Park
Arthur Upfield


We invite you to visit our
SPECIAL INTEREST ROOMS
     

THOMAS KENEALLY
"... a novelist who seems not so much to use history as to write from inside it." - Sunday Telegraph


Tom Keneally Thomas Keneally was born at Kempsey, some 200 miles north of Sydney, Australia, in 1935; he spent his childhood and adolescence at the Sydney suburb of Homebush - site of the 2002 Olympic Games stadium. He studied for the Catholic priesthood for seven years, a calling he abandoned before ordination. The Keneallys live on a northern Sydney beachfront.

Two of his earlier novels, Bring Larks and Heroes (1967) and Three Cheers for the Paraclete (1968), won Australia's foremost literary prize, the Miles Franklin Award.

Greater success came with Keneally's fictional recreation of the Jimmie Governor saga, a bitter real-life incident of dispossession, racism and murder at the turn of the twentieth century. He called his book The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith (1972), and it became another Miles Franklin Award winner for him. It was the first of three Keneally novels to be shortlisted for the prestigious Booker Prize, and in 1978 was made into a movie directed by Fred Schepisi.

Keneally's other two Booker shortlisted works were Gossip from the Forest (1975) and Confederates (1979). His Schindler's Ark (1982), about a German industrialist who saved thousands of Jews during the Holocaust, won the coveted Booker Prize. In 1993 Stephen Spielberg released his movie 'Shindler's List' which was based on this book.

Controversy has often attended Thomas Keneally's fiction as much of his work has a strong factual basis. He is, a Sunday Telegraph reviewer wrote, "a novelist who seems not so much to use history as to write from inside it." His recurring themes include placing his central character in a hostile environment where his values are challenged, and the constant predicaments faced by the common man.

In The Great Shame (1998), Keneally produced a 732-page non-fiction epic covering eighty years of the Irish diaspora. In particular, it deals with political prisoners, some of them ancestors of the Keneally family who came to Australia as convicts.

He is not hesitant about moving away from his homeland for inspiration. Blood Red Sister Rose (1974) centers on Joan of Arc; Gossip From the Forest (1975) focuses on armistice negotiations at the end of World War I; Season in Purgatory (1976) deals with Yugoslav partisans during WWII; Victim of the Aurora is set in an early Antarctic expedition; Confederates (1979) has Stonewall Jackson's 1862 Civil War campaign at its heart; Towards Asmara is a moral thriller set in war-torn Ethiopia; American Scoundrel (2003) looks at the life of notorious Civil War general, Dan Sickles; and in 2003 his book was simply titled [Abraham] Lincoln.

For his services to Australian Literature, Thomas Keneally received the Order of Australia in 1983. He is an ardent advocate for an Australian republic.


© BARRY JOHN WATTS 2004

 
EMAIL
WHO ARE WE? TESTIMONIALS LINKS CONTACT  DETAILS
HOME
BROWSE
ADVANCED SEARCH
SECURE SITE
SHOPPING TROLLEY
POSTAGE