Tom Keneally Watch #5

Short Notices

The reading group based around the Blue Mountains City Library weren't overly impressed with The Widow and Her Hero, finding it "is not a great book to read. Thin characterization and an obsession with biography not story."

Philip Squires is disappointed with Towards Asmara: "As a process, the experience was strewn with beauty, vivid images and arresting phrases. The author, for instance, described desert vegetation ready to burst into life at the first 'rumour' of moisture. The writing style has a quirky inventiveness that regularly surprises. Where Towards Asmara eventually breaks down, however, is its inability to take the reader past the credibility hurdle that spans observer and participant."


Timberlake Wertenbaker's play, "Our Country's Good", based on Keneally's novel The Playmaker, was recently revived in Sydney's Darlinghurst Theatre. Mark Hopkins reviewed the production for "The Sydney Morning Herald".

Lisa Hannett has come across a new book, Ancestral Narratives by Chad Habel, which "explores how ancestral connections are narrated in both history and fiction written by Irish-Australian authors Thomas Keneally and Christopher Koch. It argues that ancestry allows people to imaginatively inhabit the historical period their ancestor lived in, but more importantly, to identify with their ancestor(s). Keneally focuses on the development of national identity through ancestry, while Koch is more concerned with the inheritance of particular constructions of masculinity."

And don't forget that Keneally's novel The Widow and Her Hero, has been shortlisted for the Prime Minister's Literary Award in the fiction category.

Five Years Ago

Keneally was involved in demonstrations against the then Australian government's refugee policies.
Office of Innocence was named a notable book of 2003 by "The New York Times".
Keneally wrote that writing about other cultures is a risky business, especially if you attempt it from their perspective.

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on August 25, 2008 10:50 AM.

The Age Book of the Year Awards was the previous entry in this blog.

2008 Ubud Writers' Festival is the next entry in this blog.

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