Thomas Keneally (October 07, 1935 - ..)
Born: 7th October, 1935
Nationality: Australian
Profession/Occupation: Novelist
Region: Sydney, Australia, "Schindler's Ark", "The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith", "Bring Larks and Heroes", "Gossip from the Forest", "The Great Shame"
Notable works: Booker Prize

Thomas Keneally Facts

Biography

Thomas Keneally, (born October 7, 1935, Sydney, Australia), Australian writer best known for his historical novels. Keneally's characters are gripped by their historical and personal past, and decent individuals are portrayed at odds with systems of authority.

At age 17 Keneally entered a Roman Catholic seminary, but he left before ordination; the experience influenced his early fiction, including The Place at Whitton (1964) and Three Cheers for the Paraclete (1968). His reputation as a historical novelist was established with Bring Larks and Heroes (1967), about Australia's early years as an English penal colony. The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith (1972; film 1980) won Keneally international acclaim; it is based on the actual story of a half-caste Aboriginal who rebels against white racism by going on a murder spree. The Great Shame (1998), a work inspired by his own ancestry, details 80 years of Irish history from the perspective of Irish convicts sent to Australia in the 19th century.

Although Australia figures prominently in much of Keneally's work, his range was broad. His well-received Gossip from the Forest (1975) examines the World War I armistice through the eyes of a thoughtful, humane German negotiator. He was also praised for his treatment of the American Civil War in Confederates (1979). His later fiction included A Family Madness (1985), To Asmara (1989), Flying Hero Class (1991), Woman of the Inner Sea (1992), Jacko (1993), Homebush Boy (1995), Bettany's Book (2000), The Tyrant's Novel (2003), The Widow and Her Hero (2007), The Daughters of Mars (2012), and Crimes of the Father (2017).

Keneally's best-known work, Schindler's Ark (1982; also published as Schindler's List; film 1993), tells the true story of Oskar Schindler, a German industrialist who saved more than 1,300 Jews from the Nazis. Like many of Keneally's protagonists, Schindler is a rather ordinary man who acts in accord with his conscience despite the evil around him. Controversy surrounded the book's receipt of the Booker Prize for fiction; detractors argued that the work was mere historical reporting.

With his daughter Meg Keneally, he also wrote a historical crime series. The first installment, The Soldier's Curse, was published in 2016. Other books in The Monsarrat Series, as it was known, included The Power Game (2018) and The Ink Stain (2019).

Top 21 Thomas Keneally quotes

And I definitely wanted to be a writer, but I felt a duty now, having used up those educational resources, I felt a duty to the church and my parents to become a priest.
Become
Church
Definitely
Duty
Educational
Felt
Having
Now
Parents
Priest
Resources
Those
Up
Used
And I found both literature and the church very dramatic presences in the world of the 1950s.
Both
Church
Dramatic
Found
Literature
Very
World
And I liked pluralist Australia. I got a taste for pluralist Australia. I like, I like Australians and I can't believe that they're going to go to hell because they tell a good dirty joke, you know.
Australia
Australians
Because
Believe
Dirty
Go
Go to hell
Going
Good
Got
Hell
Joke
Know
Like
And I think my sexuality was heavily repressed by the church, by the, you know, the design of the mortal sins.
Church
Design
I think
Know
Mortal
Repressed
Sexuality
Sins
Think
You
And I was very interested in the priesthood.
Interested
Priesthood
Very
And it is a folly to try to craft a novel for the screen, to write a novel with a screen contract in mind.
Contract
Craft
Folly
Mind
Novel
Screen
Try
Write
And so um, I knew that I really didn't want to be a priest and didn't want to be a celibate, though I could probably manage it. Um, and um, ultimately I left.
Could
Knew
Left
Manage
Priest
Really
Though
Ultimately
Um
Want
Australia integrated the - brought on the ships and unleashed in the society the dogs of sectarianism, which had existed in other places - in Glasgow, in Liverpool and of course in Ireland, north and south.
Australia
Brought
Course
Dogs
Existed
Glasgow
Had
Integrated
Ireland
Liverpool
North
Other
Places
Sectarianism
But I was also a brat. I used to belong to a gang that went looking for fights with other gangs.
Also
Belong
Brat
Fights
Gang
Gangs
Looking
Other
Used
But in practice Australia - the pluralism of Australia - sorry the sectarianism to an extent stopped at the time you took your uniform off after coming home from school.
After
Australia
Coming
Coming home
Extent
Home
Off
Pluralism
Practice
School
Sectarianism
Sorry
Stopped
Time
I must apologise because I know all writers have memories of being on the outer because it's the children on the side of the playground who become the dangerous writers.
All writers
Because
Become
Being
Children
Dangerous
Know
Memories
Must
Outer
Playground
Side
Who
Writers
I thought I'd definitely be a writer, whatever I did.
Definitely
Did
Thought
Whatever
Writer
I was never any good at cricket thought I love it as a, as a sort of mystery.
Any
Cricket
Good
I love
Love
Mystery
Never
Sort
Thought
My brother arrived some months after my father left. Um, and he ah, was thus eight years younger than me and it was um, you know, it was such a time that my mother probably had people wondering was it his.
After
Ah
Arrived
Brother
Eight
Father
Had
He
His
Know
Left
Me
Months
Mother
So I remember both medicine, because I frequently sick, particularly with asthma for which there was no proper treatment then, and in religion I had a strong sense of there being a patriarchy.
Asthma
Because
Being
Both
Frequently
Had
I remember
Medicine
Particularly
Patriarchy
Proper
Religion
Remember
Sense
So I was very close to ordination. I was delighted to be ordained a deacon, which is the last step between, before becoming a priest. But then it all fell apart.
Apart
Becoming
Before
Between
Close
Delighted
Fell
Last
Ordained
Ordination
Priest
Step
Then
Very
So nonetheless given the importance that was placed on sport in Australia, I wanted to be part of that scene, particularly since I had felt very strongly in my early schooling being marginalised even in the Catholic school.
Australia
Being
Catholic
Catholic school
Early
Even
Felt
Given
Had
Importance
Marginalised
Nonetheless
Part
Particularly
Thomas was my true name but everyone knew me as Mick, except my mother, who knew me as definitely Michael.
Definitely
Everyone
Except
Knew
Me
Michael
Mother
Name
Thomas
True
Who
Um, what I found though about the Christian Brothers is this: that they were certainly muscular.
About
Brothers
Certainly
Christian
Found
Muscular
Though
Um
Were
You know, so I was a weird eccentric kid but I did believe in the power of the word and of the word being made flesh I suppose, which again I suppose came from my temperament as well as my upbringing.
Again
Being
Believe
Came
Did
Eccentric
Flesh
Kid
Know
Made
Power
Suppose
Temperament
Upbringing
In a way Australia is like Catholicism. The company is sometimes questionable and the landscape is grotesque. But you always come back.
Always
Australia
Back
Catholicism
Come
Company
Grotesque
Landscape
Like
Questionable
Sometimes
Way
You

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