Thomas Keneally

Laurie Clancy reviews 'A River Town' by Thomas Keneally

Laurie Clancy
Friday, 07 February 2020

The river town is Kempsey on the north coast of New South Wales, 300 miles from Sydney. It is the new year and, we soon learn, just around the turn of the century, immediately before Federation. Once more Keneally has plundered Australian history in order to explore his concern with Australian identity.

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Veronica Brady reviews 'Towards Asmara' by Thomas Keneally

Veronica Brady
Friday, 07 February 2020

Tom Keneally used to be a fashionable writer, but not anymore, at least not with the critics, though readers continue to read him. Critical concern today is with aesthetics rather than ethics, theory rather than practice. Towards Asmara is therefore not likely to get a great deal of serious attention. This is a pity because it raises some weighty issues, and the loss is the critics’!

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John Hanrahan reviews 'Schindler’s Ark' by Thomas Keneally

John Hanrahan
Friday, 07 February 2020

Thomas Keneally excels in stories of guilt. Schindler’s Ark joins Bring Larks and Heroes and The Chant of Jimmy Blacksmith as his best work so far. Organised and complacent cruelty to convicts, to blacks, to Jews grabs Keneally’s imagination to produce his most powerful novels. On one level, Schindler’s Ark is the story of a man who played the system to ensure the survival of his Jewish factory workers. On another level, it is their story, a compelling narrative of suffering and the will to survive. Fifty years after Hitler’s vaguely democratic marching to power, Keneally compels us to believe in the reality of the Holocaust. He writes of death, separation, and survival with the matter-of-fact authority of Kevin Heinz telling us how to mulch our petunias in a time of drought.

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Thomas Keneally’s novel The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith (1972) is based in part on historical events, particularly the crimes committed by Jimmy Governor, an Aboriginal man from New South Wales. In 1900, Governor was a key figure involved in the killing of nine Europeans, including five women and children. The killings followed Governor’s marriage t ...

Open Page with Thomas Keneally

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Why do you write?

It is often a transcendent experience of the kind all humans seek. Suffering is just part of the equation, but so is the intoxicatingly joyous feeling at the end of a day’s writing.

Are you a vivid dreamer?

Some n ...

Luke Slattery reviews 'Australians, Volume 3' by Thomas Keneally

Luke Slattery
Wednesday, 25 February 2015

The European settlement of Australia, the colony’s earliest years, its expansion into, and alienation of, lands inhabited for millennia by the first Australians: these are the great and abiding themes of the Australian story. Together with the rather overdone nationalist narratives of war rekindled each and every Anzac Day, they are the focal points of popular his ...

Thomas Keneally

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Thomas Keneally (1935–) is an award-winning Australian novelist and historian.. Keneally won the 1982 Booker Prize for Schindler’s Ark, which would go on to win Oscars as the 1993 film Schindler’s List. Keneally has won the Miles Franklin Award twice for Bring Larks and Heroes in 1967 and Three Cheers for the Paraclete in 19 ...


alancing the big picture with the intimate details that engage us when reading a novel is not easy. This latest book from veteran Australian author Tom Keneally is epic in scope, but takes us into the intimate worlds of particular people. This is the way to tell a story about an event as mammoth as World War I. Keneally, the author of Schindler’s Ark ...