Thomas Keneally has been shortlisted for the Booker Prize four times and won it with SCHINDLER'S ARK in 1982. His novels have been filmed (Schindler's List and The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith) and dramatised (The Playmaker). He has also written several works of non-fiction, including THE PLACE WHERE SOULS ARE BORN, about the American Southwest, and HOMEBUSH BOY, a memoir.
Photograph Â© Sean Pollock
Filmed as Schindler’s List starring Liam Neeson, this is the story of a German businessman who lived an ostentatious life driven by wealth. A Nazi party member, he opened a factory in Poland producing supplies for the German army during World War II and he employed Jews. It was a cover for one of the most daring rescue operations of the war. Under its umbrella he saved thousands of lives. This is an extraordinary tale of an extraordinary man. Giving more depth than the film, it should be obligatory reading as a lesson in humanity and a compelling portrait of the Holocaust, lest we forget. Heart-rending, powerful, horrific and eventually uplifting, it is a magnificent work. Comparison: Peter Carey, William Styron, Kazuo Ishiguro.
Charming gentleman convict Hugh Monsarrat returns in this second novel in the thrilling and spellbinding historical crime series from Thomas Keneally and his daughter Meg Keneally featuring his signature ';fresh and engaging' (The New York Times) prose.Recently arrived from Port Macquarie, ticket-of-leave gentleman convict Hugh Llewelyn Monsarrat now lives in a small but comfortable house in Parramatta with his loyal housekeeper, Mrs. Mulrooney. Monsarrat is now working for the Attorney General's office, officially as a clerk, but also as an unofficial advisor on criminal and legal matters. One day, he is informed that the superintendent of the female prison, Robert Church, has been murdered. Apparently, a female convict named Grace O'Leary held a particular grudge against him and is being detained for questioning. Monsarrat's task is to take a statement from her. Grace doesn't strike Monsarrat as a murderer and she insists she's innocent. Monsarrat and Mrs. Mulrooney both believe her, but are at a loss as to how to help her. A number of people held grudges against Church and many are relieved by his death, but who would go so far as to murder him?
Father Frank Docherty has had his run-ins with the church authorities: in the early 1970s, he was expelled from the Sydney archdiocese for preaching against the Vietnam War and has lived in Canada as a monk ever since. Twenty-five years later, back in Australia to give a lecture about celibacy and paedophile priests, he comes across an ex-nun who claims to have been abused by a now eminent cleric. If Docherty is to help her, he will be up against an institution bent on avoiding scandal. What is more, the accused man's sister is the woman Docherty nearly broke his vows for long ago. This searing, impassioned novel captures the Catholic Church at a pivotal moment: when it tried to silence its victims, wreaking lasting damage not only on innocents but on itself.
From the ';greatest living practitioner of historical fiction' (Christian Science Monitor) Thomas Keneally and his eldest daughter Meg Keneally comes the first novel in a fast-paced, gripping, and witty historical crime series.In the Port Macquarie penal settlement for second offenders, Hugh Monsarrat hungers for freedom. Originally imprisoned for forging documents to pass himself off as a lawyer, he is now the trusted clerk of the settlement's commandant. His position has certain advantages, including access to the Government House kitchen and outstanding cups of tea from housekeeper Hannah Mulrooney, who is his most intelligent companion. But things change when the commandant heads off on assignment and his beautiful wife, Honora, suddenly falls ill. Only when she dies does it becomes clear she has been slowly poisoned. Monsarrat and Mrs. Mulrooney suspect the commandant's right hand man, Captain Diamond, a cruel man who shared an intimate history with Honora. But when Diamond has Mrs. Mulrooney arrested for the murder, Monsarrat must find the real killer in order to exonerate this innocent woman and his good friend in this thrilling and whip-smart mystery.
Ned Kelly would never have imagined shrinking his size in order to escape the dreary hospital bed where he's recovering from appendicitis. But, that's exactly what Apis, his new friend (who happens to be a bee), helps him do with the aid of a special gold liquid. At apian size, Ned flies off with Apis and Nancy Clancy (who speaks only in rhyme) to try life in the hive. Although he questions some of their practices, like disposing of old drones who can't work anymore, Ned soon makes friends with the bees, including Romeo, a drone lovesick for the Queen, Basil, a drone-rights activist, and even the haughty Queen herself.
When Grace married the handsome and worldly Captain Leo Waterhouse in Australia during the middle of the Second World War, she never doubted that she had married a hero and he would come back to her unscathed. But Leo never returns from a commando raid on Japanese ships in the Singapore Harbour, leaving Grace a widow, like so many, to shoulder the pain and regret of losing her husband. Sixty years later, Grace is still bitter and perplexed by the tragic death of the love of her life when the true story of the abortive mission comes to light. As Leo's diary during captivity, scrawled on toilet paper, and new fragments of the events emerge, Grace must confront her doubts about her hero and his ultimate betrayal.
A young Catholic priest, Father Maitland raises eyebrows among the brothers of St. Peter's the moment his young cousin and new bride spend the night in his room. But even when he's trying to do the right thing, Father Maitland continuously finds himself at odds with his superiors and the strictures of the Churcha conflict that threatens to unravel his faith and his life. A fastidious and darkly satirical novel, with moments of warm humor, Three Cheers for the Paraclete won Thomas Keneally his second Miles Franklin Award.
Artem Samsurov, an ardent follower of Lenin and a hero of the rebellion, flees his Siberian labor camp for the sanctuary of Brisbane, Australia in 1911. Failing to find the worker's paradise and brotherhood he imagined, Artem quickly joins the agitation for a general strike among the growing trade union movement. He finds a fellow spirit in a dangerously attractive female lawyer and becomes entangled in the death of another Tsarist exile. But, Atrem can't overcome the corruption, repression, and injustice of the conservative Brisbane. When he returns to Russia in 1917 for the Red October, will his beliefs stand? Based on the true story of Artem Sergeiv, a Russian immigrant in Australia who would play a vital role in the Russian Revolution, The People's Train explores the hearts of the men and women who fueled, compromised, and passionately fought for their ideals.
Jehannette, an illiterate peasant girl of seventeen, hears voices that tell her she must help the Dauphin become king. But this proves hard to accomplish in 15th century France as the British occupy parts of the country, including Rheims where the crowning must take place. Jehannette must first convince the Dauphin of her mission and then help lead his army to push back the occupiers. Will this tough, radical yet vulnerable girl be able to triumph without questioning her own sanity? Thomas Keneally's interpretation of Joan of Arc contains a new vigor and authenticity not before seen in the Maid of Orleans stories. Capturing with incredible detail the realities of 15th century life, Blood Red, Sister Rose imaginatively portrays one of history's most inspiring passages with immediacy and drama.
The third volume of Thomas Keneally's history of the Australian people, Australians: Flappers to Vietnam chronicles the lives and deeds of Australians, both known and unknown, during the 20th century. Entering an age of consumerism, media, and communism, Australia underwent radical change in the hands of two less remembered prime ministers: the stoic Stanley Melbourne Bruce of the Melbourne Establishment and the humbler Irishman Jim Scullin of the Labor Party. Keneally examines the Great Crash, the rise of fascism, the reasons why Australia entered the Second World War through the massive unemployment that arrived later in the century. With a compassionate lens and rich storytelling, Flappers to Vietnam presents history in a fresh and vivid way.
Thomas Keneally pulls no punches in this powerful novel about the Catholic Church's attempts to cover up cases of child abuse, and a priest who decides to help its innocent victims' fight to be heard. Expelled from the archdiocese of Sydney as a young priest for his outspoken views on the Vietnam War, Father Frank Docherty returns to Australia in 1996 to speak at a conference on paedophilia within the Catholic Church. He had hoped to spend time with his mother and old friends. Instead, he finds himself caught up in the cases of two people who claim to have been sexually abused by an eminent Sydney cleric - one the son of Docherty's former parishioner, the other a former nun. And the cleric in question is brother to the woman Docherty fell in love with many years before. If the accusations are true, the consequences for many will be devastating, but Docherty has to follow his conscience. In this riveting, profoundly thoughtful novel, Thomas Keneally draws on his own experience as an ex-seminarian to bring alive matters of faith, celibacy, perversion and marriage. Portraying the Catholic Church at a pivotal moment, he shows that its prevarications and cover-ups wreaked terrible damage not only on innocents but on itself, with toxic repercussions to this day.
On the island of St Helena in the south Atlantic ocean, Napoleon spends his last years in exile. It is a hotbed of gossip and secret liaisons, where a blind eye is turned to relations between colonials and slaves. The disgraced emperor is subjected to vicious and petty treatment by his captors, but he forges an unexpected ally: a rebellious British girl, Betsy, who lives on the island with her family and becomes his unlikely friend. Based on fact, Napoleon's Last Island is the surprising story of one of history's most enigmatic figures and a British family who dared to associate with him. It is a tale of vengeance, duplicity and loyalty, and of a man whose charisma made him dangerous to the end.
From the author of Man Booker Prizewinning Schindler's Ark Palestinian terrorists hijack a flight from New York bound for Frankfurt that holds an unusual group of passengers: a troupe of dancers from the aboriginal Australian Barramatjara tribe. The hijackers single out Frank McCloud, the troupe's Caucasian manager, as an ';Exploiter of Landless People' and attempt to persuade the dancers to join their cause. Whose side will they take? What do the other passengersa conservative Japanese-American woman, a Fleet Streetjournalist, and a Jewish software engineerhave to say about the hijackers message? As the airliner searches for a landing place in the Mediterranean, Keneally examines how the hijackers and hijacked alike respond under pressure in this explosive novel, which will keep you on the edge of your seat until the very end.
Jacko Emptor is New York's most infamous TV celebrity and most public trespasser. An affable Aussie, Jacko can talk his way on-camera into the homes of any ordinary American. Jacko soon finds himself hosting a televised hunt for a veteran's missing daughter. What he unveils has the power to both make and break his career. How far will he go before even he can't deny that some things should be left off camera?
A disturbing love story about two families and the madness that threatens to consume them... Terry Delaney, a professional rugby player, leads a comfortable life with a genial wife and the occasional freelance job until he meets Danielle Kabbel. Obsessed and in love, Terry drops everything to pursue her. But it's her father Rudi Kabbel, an Eastern European immigrant with apocalyptic visions, and his madness that threatens to destroy Terry's sense of self and to separate the lovers. Ultimately, Terry must contend with the family's skeletons, stemming all the way back to the Nazi-occupation of Belorussia. Inspired by a true event, Keneally brilliantly bridges the corrupt politics of Eastern Europe with the nave innocence of Australian suburban life.
Set in a remote British penal colony in the late eighteenth century, Bring Larks and Heroes explores the early years of European settlement of desperate men and corrupt soldiers to Australia, the world's end. Corporal Phelim Halloran, an honest man, poet and lover, attempts to make a home for himself while confronting the demands of his secret bride, a convict-artist, his Irish comrades, and his own conscience. Can he overcome the hellish, sun-parched landscape to believe in something greater than his own existence?
An Edwardian murder mystery set on the unforgiving Antarctic tundra... Captain Sir Eugene Stewart chose the gentlemen to join his great 1910 expedition to the South Pole with great precision, each man selected for his skills to survive the Antarctic winter. Reflecting sixty years later, Sir Anthony Piers, an oil painter and watercolorist chosen to capture the long midnight lights of the South Pole, finally reveals the truth of the New British South Polar Expedition and the murder committed on their journey. Who among the expedition would kill Victor Henneker, an unlikeable and mischievous journalist only six months into the trek? Telling of complete isolation, absolute darkness, unrelenting wind, and slowly-approaching starvation, Sir Anthony Piers confronts the demons and truths of this hellish expedition after sixty years of silence.
In this playful and poignant memoir, Thomas Keneally returns to his adolescence in the suburbs of Sydney in 1952. At sixteen, the red-haired teenager idolized the poetry of Gerard Manley Hopkins and had aspirations of becoming a star on the track or rugby field. He also dreamed of wooing the beautiful and alluring Bernadette Curran until the day she announces her desire to become a nun. For the first time, Keneally started to consider priesthood himself. An insightful portrait of the transition from childhood to adulthood, Homebush Boy affectionately captures the awkwardness, grace, and all the contradictions of being a teenager.
Based on true events, this beautifully rendered novel from the author of Schindlers List and The Daughters of Mars brilliantly explores a World War II prison camp, where Japanese prisoners resolve to take drastic action to wipe away their shame.Alice is a young woman living on her father-in-laws farm on the edge of an Australian country town, while her husband is held prisoner in Europe. When Giancarlo, an Italian anarchist at the prisoner-of-war camp down the road, is assigned to work on the farm, she hopes that being kind to him will somehow influence her husbands treatment. What she doesnt anticipate is how dramatically Giancarlo will expand her outlook and self-knowledge. But what most challenges Alice and her fellow townspeople is the utter foreignness of the thousand-plus Japanese inmates and their culture, which the camp commanders fatally misread. Mortified by being taken alive in battle and preferring a violent death to the shame of living, they plan an outbreak, to shattering and far-reaching effects on all the citizens around them. In a career spanning half a century, Thomas Keneally has proved a master at exploring ordinary lives caught up in extraordinary events. With this profoundly gripping and thought-provoking novel, inspired by a notorious incident in New South Wales in 1944, he once again shows why he is celebrated as a writer who looks into the heart of the human condition with a piercing intelligence that few can match (Sunday Telegraph).
On the edge of a small Australian town, far from the battlefields of the Second World War, a camp holds thousands of Japanese, Italian and Korean prisoners of war. The locals are unsure how to treat the 'enemy', though Alice Herman, whose young husband is himself a prisoner in Europe, becomes drawn to the Italian soldier sent to work on her father-in-law's farm. The camp commander and his deputy, each concealing a troubled private life, are disunited. And both fatally misread their Japanese captives, who burn with shame at being taken alive. The stage is set for a clash of cultures that has explosive, far-reaching consequences.
On the edge of a small town in New South Wales, far from the battlefields of the Second World War, lies a prisoner-of-war camp housing Italian, Korean and Japanese soldiers. For their guards and the locals, many with loved ones away fighting, captive or dead, it is hard to know how to treat them - with disdain, hatred or compassion? Alice, a young woman leading a dull life on her father-in-law's farm, is one of those with a husband held prisoner in Europe. When Giancarlo, an Italian POW and anarchist, is assigned to work on the farm, she hopes that being kind to him will somehow influence her husband's treatment. What she doesn't anticipate is how dramatically Giancarlo will expand her outlook and self-knowledge. But what most challenges Alice and the town is the foreignness of the Japanese inmates and their culture, which the camp commanders fatally misread. Mortified by being taken alive, they plan an outbreak, to shattering and far-reaching effect. In a career spanning half a century, Tom Keneally has proved a master at exploring ordinary lives caught up in extraordinary events. With this gripping and profoundly thought-provoking novel, inspired by a notorious incident in 1944, he once again shows why he is celebrated as a writer who 'looks into the heart of the human condition with a piercing intelligence that few can match' - Sunday Telegraph.
In 1915, two spirited Australian sisters join the war effort as nurses, escaping the confines of their father's dairy farm and carrying a guilty secret with them. Used to tending the sick as they are, nothing could have prepared them for what they confront, first in the Dardanelles, then on the Western Front. Yet they find courage in the face of extreme danger and become the friends they never were before. And eventually they meet the kind of men worth giving up their precious independence for - if only they all survive. At once epic in scope and extraordinarily intimate, The Daughters of Mars brings the First World War to vivid life from an unusual perspective. Profoundly moving, it pays tribute to the men and women who voluntarily risked their lives for peace.
Through the lens of three of the most devastating food crises in modern history- the Gorta Mor of British-ruled Ireland, the great famine of British-ruled Bengal in 1943, and the string of famines that plagued Ethiopia during the 1970s and 1980s, Booker Prize-winning author Thomas Keneally vividly evokes the terrible cost of mass starvation at the level of the individual who starves and the nation that watches. Famine is widely misunderstood as a completely natural catastrophe. Keneally recounts that while the triggers- crop, pestilence, and drought- are natural, the political and ideological choices that prolong famine are man-made. Government neglect and individual venality, not food shortages, are historically the causes of sustained, widespread hunger.In Ireland, British authorities ignored the existence of a food crisis while the famished fed on diseased cattle and human remains. In Bengal, where over four million starved to death, Field Marshal Archibald Wavell's reports of people dying in Calcutta's streets and demands for relief resulted in little more than a mocking cable from Winston Churchill asking, why, if food was so scarce, hadn't Gandhi died yet? In Ethiopia, Mengistu Haile Mariam arranged for 400,000 bottles of whisky to ship to Addis Ababa from Britain to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the revolution that put him in power, while one person died every twenty minutes in Korem. These three famines are stark examples of how throughout history, racial preconceptions, administrative neglect, and incompetence have been more lethal than the initiating blights or crop failures. Keneally's startling narrative history is a sobering warning to the authorities in charge of mercy in our time to stop making choices that feed famine instead of the starving.
Austin North sees himself as a fine English teacher in his local high school. His students respect him, and he finds personal fulfillment in teaching them the power of poetry to move and inspire. However, Austin's self-perceptions are upset by his infatuation with a young Sudanese girl, a recent immigrant to Australia. When Austin realises that he is just another predator in her difficult journey, he is forced to re-examine his own values and relationships.
In the shadow of Auschwitz, a flamboyant German industrialist defied the SS and risked his life to protect Jews in Nazi-occupied Poland. His name was Oskar Schindler. Thomas Keneally's unforgettable novel recreates the story of this unlikely angel of mercy, and of the people he saved. Winner of the Booker Prize in 1982, it was subsequently dramatised as the Oscar-winning film Schindler's List. 'Keneally has done marvellous justice to a marvellous story' THE SUNDAY TIMES 'Brilliantly detailed, moving, powerful and gripping' THE TIMES
Through the lens of three of the most devastating food crises in modern historythe Grta Mor of British-ruled Ireland, the great famine of British-ruled Bengal in 1943, and the string of famines that plagued Ethiopia during the 1970s and 1980s, Booker Prizewinning author Thomas Keneally vividly evokes the terrible cost of mass starvation at the level of the individual who starves and the nation that watches. Famine is widely misunderstood as a completely natural catastrophe. Keneally recounts that while the triggerscrop, pestilence, and droughtare natural, the political and ideological choices that prolong famine are man-made. Government neglect and individual venality, not food shortages, are historically the causes of sustained, widespread hunger.In Ireland, British authorities ignored the existence of a food crisis while the famished fed on diseased cattle and human remains. In Bengal, where over four million starved to death, Field Marshal Archibald Wavells reports of people dying in Calcuttas streets and demands for relief resulted in little more than a mocking cable from Winston Churchill asking, why, if food was so scarce, hadnt Gandhi died yet? In Ethiopia, Mengistu Haile Mariam arranged for 400,000 bottles of whisky to ship to Addis Ababa from Britain to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the revolution that put him in power, while one person died every twenty minutes in Korem. These three famines are stark examples of how throughout history, racial preconceptions, administrative neglect, and incompetence have been more lethal than the initiating blights or crop failures. Keneallys startling narrative history is a sobering warning to the authorities in charge of mercy in our time to stop making choices that feed famine instead of the starving.
After a long, dangerous escape from Tsarist Russia, Artem Samsurov might have reached sanctuary in Brisbane, Australia, but that doesn't stop him trying to create a socialist paradise with his fellow emigres and workmates. And despite getting entangled with an attractive female lawyer, then charged with the murder of an informer, he never loses hope that one day the revolution will come. But when he returns to Russia in 1917 to fight alongside his comrades, he cannot know whether it will succeed, or at what cost. In this enthralling novel, Thomas Keneally brings to life a seismic episode in world history from an unusual, intimate perspective. Basing his story on a real figure, he captures what it was like moment by dramatic moment for the men and women caught up in the maelstrom, and explores the passions, ideals and terrible compromises that fuelled it.
The result of a collaboration between Sydney's Macquarie University and International PEN Sydney Centre, and funded by the Australia Council for the Arts and the Australian Research Council, The Literature of Australia gathers the most distinctive and most significant of the nation's writing. Highlights include: Coverage of over two hundred years of literature in all genres, from the 1700s to the present, and over 500 entries from 307 different authors, including writing by Aboriginal authors from the early colonial period to the present. Work from contemporary authors of international renown, including Shirley Hazzard, Peter Carey, David Malouf, Les Murray, Alexis Wright, and Kate Grenville. Biographical details about the authors of the works selected, an introductory essay, major essays setting the works in their historical context, and suggestions for further reading. The Literature of Australia offers readers of all kinds a window into the myriad ways of being Australian.
The extraordinary tale of Oskar Schindler, the Aryan who saved hundreds of Jews in Nazi-occupied Poland, is now legendary, but as Tom Keneally reveals in this absorbing memoir, luck and the dogged persistence of one of 'Schindler's Jews' were vital in bringing it to the world's attention through his Booker Prize-winning novel, SCHINDLER'S ARK and the subsequent film, SCHINDLER'S LIST. Entertaining, inspiring and filled with anecdotes about the many people involved, from the survivors Keneally interviewed to Steven Spielberg and Liam Neeson, Searching for Schindler gives a revealing insight into a writer's mind and the creation of a modern classic. It also traces what happened in the decades after the war to Schindler, his wife, and the people they rescued - including Leopold Pfefferberg, who made it his mission to repay his priceless debt to Schindler. Above all, it sheds renewed light on a fascinatingly flawed man, and an instance of exceptional humanity amid the greatest inhumanity mankind has known.
In 1943, when Grace and Leo Waterhouse married in Australia, they were part of a young generation ready to sacrifice themselves to win the war, while being confident they would survive. Sixty years on, as Grace recounts what happened to her doomed hero, she can say what she suspected then: that for many men, bravery is its own end. The tale she tells is one of great love, lost innocence, a charismatic but unstable Irish commander, dashing undercover missions against the Japanese in Singapore, and - in her eyes - reckless, foolhardy exploits. As fresh details continue to emerge, Grace is forced to keep revising her picture of what happened to Leo and his fellow commandoes - until she learns about the final piece in the jigsaw, and an ultimate betrayal. As absorbing as it is thought-provoking, this timely novel poses unsettling questions about what drives men to battle and heroic deeds, and movingly conveys the life-long effect on those who survive them.
The story of modern Australia begins in eighteenth-century Britain, where people were hanged for petty offences but crime was rife, and the gaols were bursting. From this situation was born the Sydney experiment, with criminals perceived to be damaging British society transported to Sydney, an 'open air prison with walls 14,000 miles thick'. Eleven ships were dispatched in 1781, and arrived in Australia after eight hellish months at sea. Tom Keneally describes the first four years of the 'thief colony' and how, despite the escapes, the floggings, the murders and the rebellions, it survived against the odds to create a culture which would never have been tolerated in its homeland but which, in Australia, became part of the identity of a new and audacious nation. By the author of Schindler's Ark, since made into the internationally acclaimed film, Schindler's List.
Imagine a Middle-Eastern country that was once a friend of the West becoming an enemy, its people starving and savagely repressed by a tyrant known as Great Uncle. As a celebrated writer and war hero, the man who here relates his story has a better life than most, until he is made an offer he can't refuse. He must write a great novel, telling of the suffering of his people under the enemy's cruel economic sanctions and portraying Great Uncle as their saviour. This masterpiece must be completed in time for its international debut in three months - or else. If the writer cannot - or will not - meet the tyrant's deadline, he and anyone he cares for will pay the ultimate price. Stark, terrifying and utterly compelling, THE TYRANT'S NOVEL is both a gripping thriller and a chilling glimpse of a fictional world that seems all too real.
Sydney, 1942, and in a nation threatened by a Japanese invasion, with husbands absent and sleek GIs present, a spirit of recklessness takes hold. Frank Darragh, an impressionable young priest, finds the line between saving others' souls and losing his own begins to blur as he becomes entangled with an attractive married woman, a menage a trois, and a charismatic American sergeant.
On the last, cold Sunday of February 1859, Daniel Sickles shot his wife's lover in Washington's Lafayette Square, just across from the White House. This is the story of that killing and its repercussions. Charming and ambitious, Dan Sickles literally got away with murder. His protector was none other than the President himself, James Buchanan; his political friends quickly gathered around; and Sickles was acquitted. His trial is described with all Thomas Keneally's powers of dash and drama, against a backdrop of double-dealing, intrigue and slavery. Enslaved, in her turn, by the hypocrisy of nineteenth-century society, his wife was shunned and thereafter banned from public life. Sickles, meanwhile, was free to accept favours and patronage. He raised a regiment for the Union, and went on to become a general in the army, rising to the rank of brigadier-general and commanding a flak at the Battle of Gettysburg - at which he lost a leg, which he put into the military museum in Washington where he would take friends to visit it. Thomas Keneally brilliantly recreates an extraordinary period, when women were punished for violating codes of society that did not bind men. And the caddish, good-looking Dan Sickles personifies the extremes of the era: as a womaniser, he introduced his favourite madam to Queen Victoria while his wife stayed at home, and he installed his housekeeper as his mistress while his second wife took up residence nearby. American Scoundrel is the lens through which the reader can view history at a time when America was being torn apart.
The husband: charming cad and powerful Congressman, with hopes of becoming the next President; The wife: beautiful society hostess, 20 years old, of Italian descent; The lover: the most handsome widower in Washington. This is the starting point of American Scoundrel, a true story every bit as colourful as a novel. The shooting and trial are described with all Thomas Keneally's powers of dash and drama, against a backdrop of double-dealing, intrigue and 'the slavery question'. Having - through his political connections - got away literally with murder, Sickles rehabilitated himself by founding the Excelsior Brigade and fighting in the Civil War. He became a General, and at Gettysburg ( 9,000 men from his corps were killed when he led them out of position) lost a leg, which he put into the Military Museum in Washington where he would take friends to visit it. His young wife, meanwhile, was ostracised - a victim of a 19th-century morality cruelly condemning of women, while turning a blind eye to men's sexual adventures with mistresses and prostitutes.
When Dimp Bettany, a Sydney film producer, comes into possession of her ancestor John Bettany's journals, she believes she has finally found the subject of her next masterpiece. Even her more detached sister Prim, an aid worker in the Sudan, becomes intrigued as the story unfolds of how John Bettany carved out a living in the wilds of New South Wales in the 1840s, and of the internment in the notorious Female Factory of Sarah Bernard, the convict woman he was destined to meet. As John's and Sarah's paths converge, each sister finds her life cast in a new and galvanising light.
In the 19th century the Irish population was halved. This masterly book traces the three causes of this depletion; first the manine, second the Irish diaspora and the emigrations to places such as America and Canada and thridly the transportations of political activists to Australia. It is a quest for Keneally's Irish ancestors. Based on unique research among little-used sources, the characters and their stories come brilliantly to life; this is an important book in which the main political themes are fascinatingly explored. It also contains a remarkable collection of photographs and documents.
In this vivacious memoir, Thomas Keneally conjures up his youthful self at a pivotal period in his life - as a red-haired teenager who idolised Gerald Manley Hopkins, had visions of being a sporting hero, and dreamed of winning the heart of the alluring Bernadette Curran. The one role he did not see himself playing was priest, despite the encouragement of the Brothers at his Catholic school - until Bernadette announced her intention of becoming a nun. Drawing an affectionate portrait of the people who inspired and influenced him, Keneally beautifully captures the agonies and the ecstasies of adolescence.
With his genial air of an Australian innocent, Jacko Emptor is New York's most public trespasser, invading people's homes at random for a live television show. Until he undertakes the televised hunt for a missing woman and, finally, meets a barrier even he will not transgress. The dramatic tale of Jacko's exploits probes the dubious ethics behind some television programmes and illuminates how a civilized society can harbour appalling evil.
When Palestinian guerillas hijack a flight from New York to Frankfurt, they find an Aboriginal dance troupe among the passengers. Similarly dispossessed of their land, whose side will the Aborigines take? Conflicts of loyalty, terror and revolutionary fervour form the explosive ingredients in this riveting and thought-provoking novel.
During the Holocaust at the German concentration camp near Plaszow, thousands of Jews lost their lives at the hands of the Nazis. More than a thousand others would have been counted among the dead if not for a womanizing, heavydrinking, German-Catholic industrialist and Nazi Party member named Oskar Schindler.One of the most remarkable narratives of the Holocaust, Schindler's List masterfully recreates the daring exploits of Schindler, who used his enormous fortune to build a factory near the concentration camp and saved the lives of over 1,300 Jews. An absorbing, suspenseful and moving account of Oskar Schindler's legacy of life, this is an unforgettable audio program.
In November 1918, in a railway carriage in a forest near Paris, six men meet to negotiate an end to the terrible slaughter of the First World War. Threatened by famine and anarchy at home, the Germans struggle to mitigate the punishing terms offered by the Allies. But both sides are torn by battle exhaustion and a confusion that far exceed their national differences. In this riveting combination of history, speculation and rumour, Thomas Keneally recreates the personalities, ideals, prejudices, arguments and desperate measures that resulted in the armistice which would shape the future of Europe. Price: GBP5.99 Edition: Second Format:198 x 129 mm Imprint: Sceptre Markets:BCN ex Can Four of Thomas Keneally's novels have been shortlisted for the Booker prize and SCHINDLER'S ARK (filmed by Steven Spielberg as Schindler's List) has sold more copies than any other Booker Prize-winner. He is also the author of several works of non-fiction, including THE PLACE WHERE SOULS ARE BORN, about the American Southwest. BIRTHPLACE: New South Wales, Australia. WHEREABOUTS: Sydney, Australia PREVIOUS BOOKS: INCLUDE BLOOD RED, SISTER ROSE; CONFEDERATES; THE PLAYMAKER; THE PLACE WHERE SOULS ARE BORN; A FAMILY MADNESS; TOWARDS ASMARA; WOMAN OF THE INNER SEA; JACKO; SCHINDLER'S LIST THE PROMOTION *Part of the new Sceptre relaunch SELLING POINTS (1)Shortlisted for the Booker Prize (2) Publication will coincide with Keneally's new novel A RIVER TOWN and the paperback of JACKO. (3) Author PR on publication. Keneally will be here to take part in the Sceptre promotion.
In 1789 in Sydney Cove, the remotest penal colony of the British Empire, a group of convicts and one of their captors unite to stage a play. As felons, perjurers and whores rehearse, their playmaker becomes strangely seduced. For the play's power is mirrored in the rich, varied life of this primitive land, and, not least, in the convict and actress, Mary Brenham.
Inspired by a true incident, this powerful and disturbing novel focuses on Rudi Kabbel, a survivor of Nazi-occupied Belorussia, and Terry Delaney, a young Australian rugby player who falls in love with Kabbel's daughter. With the optimism and innocence of those unscathed by war, Delaney gropes to understand Kabbel's outlook on life and all too slowly grasps its implications.
During the Eritrean struggle for independence from Ethiopia, four Westerners travel under Eritrean rebel escort through a land of savage beauty and bitter drought towards the ancient capital of Asmara. Each is on a personal mission, all are irrevocably changed as they bear witness to the devastation of war as well as to the Eritreans' courage and humanity in the face of constant attack.