Tom Keneally on How Schindler's Ark Started

As we have mentioned a few times over the past few weeks, Tom Keneally's Booker Prize winning novel, Schindler's Ark, is the subject of "The Guardian's" Book Club for this month. In the weekend editon of the paper Keneally writes about the genesis of the novel, and attempts to answer a question that runs to the heart of the effect literature has on people.

The final question is this, and it's a universal one: by writing about the Holocaust, or the Armenian massacres, or the Irish famine, and trying to get to the truth of them, are you encouraging extremist actions by Israeli hardliners, say, or the Armenian Brotherhood, or the IRA? By writing about the Holocaust does one signify a lack of sympathy for the Palestinians? By writing a history of the transportation of Irish politicals to Australia, as I did in a book named The Great Shame, does one whistle up hardcore hatred in Ulster?

Of course not, I would argue. In situations where old injustices have been addressed, people are reconciled with history enough to confront it. In situations where justice still does not run, it's the system, not the historians, who create conflict."

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on May 21, 2007 9:56 AM.

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