Ben Peek Interview

Ben Peek, author of Black Sheep, is interviewed by Charlene Brusso in "Publisher's Weekly".

When you wrote Black Sheep, were you addressing issues in Australian politics specifically?

Black Sheep was born out of Australian society, but only because this is where I live. I've always been the kind of writer who reacts to what is in front of him. The book was a response to racist politicians who said anyone not white was bad. It was a response to the vibe that seemed to say that people ought to resent and be afraid of people that didn't look and speak the same as they. Unfortunately, that's not exclusive to Australia. Every country has those lines drawn.

Is that why Black Sheep was published by an American press rather than an Australian publisher?

Most publishers in Australia - the publishers I could get to - gave me the form "no thanks." One had published a short story of mine in a collection earlier, so they knew who I was and gave me a bit more of their time. But they read the book and told me that it was too intense for them and could do with some humor. Then the rejection closed with the comment, "Not that 1984 or Darkness at Noon were very funny books, I suppose."

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on December 18, 2007 10:31 AM.

Australian Bookcovers #94 - My Life as a Fake by Peter Carey was the previous entry in this blog.

Weekend Round-Up 2007 #43 is the next entry in this blog.

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