The Booker Prize-winning author of Oscar and Lucinda returns to the nineteenth century in an utterly captivating mystery. The year is 1837 and a stranger is prowling London. He is Jack Maggs, an illegal returnee from the prison island of Australia. He has the demeanor of a savage and the skills of a hardened criminal, and he is risking his life on seeking vengeance and reconciliation. Installing himself within the household of the genteel grocer Percy Buckle, Maggs soon attracts the attention of a cross section of London society. Saucy Mercy Larkin wants him for a mate. The writer Tobias Oates wants to possess his soul through hypnosis. But Maggs is obsessed with a plan of his own. And as all the various schemes converge, Maggs rises into the center, a dark looming figure, at once frightening, mysterious, and compelling. Not since Caleb Carr's The Alienist have the shadowy city streets of the nineteenth century lit up with such mystery and romance. From the Trade Paperback edition.
The first Penguin edition of Peter Carey's Jack Maggs, with a cover by Michael LeunigThe year is 1837 and ex-convict Jack Maggs has returned illegally to London from Australia. Installing himself in the household of a genteel grocer, he attracts the attention of a cross-section of society. Saucy Mercy Larkin wants him for a mate. Writer Tobias Oates wants to possess his soul through hypnosis. Maggs, a figure both frightening and mysteriously compelling, is so in thrall to the notion of a gentlemanly class that he's risked his life to come back to his torturers. His task is to shed his false consciousness and understand that his true destiny lies in Australia.
The first Penguin edition of Peter Carey's Jack Maggs, with a cover by Michael Leunig The year is 1837 and ex-convict Jack Maggs has returned illegally to London from Australia. Installing himself in the household of a genteel grocer, he attracts the attention of a cross-section of society. Saucy Mercy Larkin wants him for a mate. Writer Tobias Oates wants to possess his soul through hypnosis. Maggs, a figure both frightening and mysteriously compelling, is so in thrall to the notion of a gentlemanly class that he's risked his life to come back to his torturers. His task is to shed his false consciousness and understand that his true destiny lies in Australia.
'I lost my own father at 12 yr. of age and know what it is to be raised on lies and silence...' To the authorities in pursuit of him, outlaw Ned Kelly is a horse thief, bank robber and police-killer. But to his fellow ordinary Australians, Kelly is their own Robin Hood. In a dazzling act of ventriloquism, Peter Carey brings the famous bushranger wildly and passionately to life.
The Booker Prize-winning author of Oscar and Lucinda and The Tax Inspector now gives readers a hero, the malformed but ferociously wilful Tristan Smith, who becomes the object of the world's byzantine political intrigues, even as he attains stardom in a bizarre Sirkus that is part passion play and part Mortal Kombat. From the Hardcover edition.
Melbourne, the late 1940s. A young conservative Australian poet named Christopher Chubb decides to teach his country a lesson about pretension and authenticity. Choosing as his target the most avant-garde of the literary magazines, he submits for publication the entire oeuvre of one Bob McCorkle, a working-class poet of raw power and sexual frankness, conveniently dead at twenty-four and entirely the product of Chubb's imagination. Not only does the magazine fall for the hoax, but the local authorities also sue its editor for publishing obscenity. At the trial someone uncannily resembling the faked photograph of the invented McCorkle, leaps to his feet. At this moment a horrified Chubb is confronted by the malevolent being he has himself manufactured...
From the two-time Booker Prize-winning author: an irrepressible, audacious, trenchantly funny new novel set in the 19th century and inspired in part by the life of Alexis de Tocqueville. With dazzling exuberance and all the richness of characterization, story, and language that we have come to expect from this superlative writer, Peter Carey explores the birth of democracy, the limits of friendship and whether people really can remake themselves in a New World. The two men at the heart of the novel couldn't be any more different: Olivier is the son of French aristocrats who (barely) survived the French Revolution. Parrot is the motherless son of an itinerate English printer. But when young Parrot is separated from his father (after a stupendous conflagration at a house of forgery) he runs into the powerful embrace of a one-armed marquis who will be his conduit - like it or not - into a life as closely (mis)allied with Olivier's as if they were connected by blood. And when Olivier sets sail for America - ostensibly to make a study of the American penal system, but more precisely to save his neck from the latest guillotineurs - Parrot, unable to loosen the Marquis's grip, is there too: as spy, scribe, comptroller, protector, foe and foil. As the narrative unfurls, shifting between the perspectives of Olivier and Parrot, between their picaresque adventures apart and together, in love and politics, prisons and finance, homelands and brave new lands - a most unlikely friendship begins to take hold. From the Hardcover edition.
For thirty-nine years Harry Joy has been the quintessential good guy. But one morning Harry has a heart attack on his suburban front lawn, and, for the space of nine minutes, he becomes a dead guy. And although he is resuscitated, he will never be the same. For, as Peter Carey makes abundantly clear in this darkly funny novel, death is sometimes a necessary prelude to real life. Part The Wizard of Oz, part Dante's Inferno, and part Australian Book of the Dead, Bliss is a triumph of uninhibited storytelling from a writer of extravagan gifts.
Peter Carey's novel of the undeclared love between clergyman Oscar Hopkins and the heiress Lucinda Leplastrier is both a moving and beautiful love story and a historical tour de force set in Victorian times. Made for each other, the two are gamblers - one obsessive, the other compulsive - incapable of winning at the game of love. Oscar and Lucinda is now available as a Faber Modern Classics edition.
A lively and timely introduction to the roots of self-understanding--who we are and how we should act--in the cultures of ancient Greece, the Roman Empire, and Middle Ages and the Renaissance "Know thyself"--this fundamental imperative appeared for the first time in ancient Greece, specifically in Delphi, the temple of the god Apollo, who represented the enlightened power of reason. For the Greeks, self-knowledge and identity were the basics of their civilization and their sources were to be found in where one was born and into which social group. These determined who you were and what your duties were. In this book the independent scholar Ingrid Rossellini surveys the major ideas that, from Greek and Roman antiquity through the Christian medieval era up to the dawn of modernity in the Renaissance, have guided the Western project of self-knowledge. Addressing the curious lay reader with an interdisciplinary approach that includes numerous references to the visual arts, Know Thyself will reintroduce readers to the most profound and enduring ways our civilization has framed the issues of self and society, in the process helping us rediscover the very building blocks of our personality.
An automaton, a man and a woman who can never meet, two stories of love—all are brought to incandescent life in this hauntingly moving novel from one of the finest writers of our time. London 2010: Catherine Gehrig, conservator at the Swinburne museum, learns of the sudden death of her colleague and lover of thirteen years. As the mistress of a married man, she must struggle to keep the depth of her anguish to herself. The one other person who knows Catherine’s secret—her boss—arranges for her to be given a special project away from prying eyes in the museum’s Annexe. Usually controlled and rational, but now mad with grief, Catherine reluctantly unpacks an extraordinary, eerie automaton that she has been charged with bringing back to life. As she begins to piece together the clockwork puzzle, she also uncovers a series of notebooks written by the mechanical creature’s original owner: a nineteenth-century Englishman, Henry Brandling, who traveled to Germany to commission it as a magical amusement for his consumptive son. But it is Catherine, nearly two hundred years later, who will find comfort and wonder in Henry’s story. And it is the automaton, in its beautiful, uncanny imitation of life, that will link two strangers confronted with the mysteries of creation, the miracle and catastrophe of human invention, and the body’s astonishing chemistry of love and feeling.
Herbert Badgery is vagabond and charlatan, aviator and car salesman, seducer and patriarch. He might very well be the embodiment of Australia's national character, especially in its fondness for tall stories and questionable history. As this charming scoundrel traverses the continent and a century's worth of outlandish encounters - not least with a genteel dowager fending off madness with an electric belt, and a ravishing young girl with a dangerous fondness for rooftop trysts - one truth emerges. Herbert Badgery may in fact be the king of all con men.
The two-time Booker Prize winner now gives us an exceedingly timely, exhilarating novel—at once dark, suspenseful, and seriously funny—that journeys to the place where the cyber underworld collides with international power politics. When Gaby Baillieux releases the Angel Worm into Australia’s prison computer system, hundreds of asylum-seekers walk free. And because the Americans run the prisons (let’s be honest: as they do in so many parts of her country) the doors of some five thousand jails in the United States also open. Is this a mistake, or a declaration of cyber war? And does it have anything to do with the largely forgotten Battle of Brisbane between American and Australian forces in 1942? Or with the CIA-influenced coup in Australia in 1975? Felix Moore, known to himself as “our sole remaining left-wing journalist,” is determined to write Gaby’s biography in order to find the answers—to save her, his own career, and, perhaps, his country. But how to get Gaby—on the run, scared, confused, and angry—to cooperate? Bringing together the world of hackers and radicals with the “special relationship” between the United States and Australia, and Australia and the CIA, Amnesia is a novel that speaks powerfully about the often hidden past—but most urgently about the more and more hidden present. From the Hardcover edition.
Seven-year-old Che Selkirk was raised in isolated privilege by his New York grandmother. The son of radical student activists at Harvard in the late sixties, Che has grown up with the hope that one day his parents will come back for him. So when a woman arrives at his front door and whisks him away to the jungles of Queensland, he is confronted with the most important questions of his life: Who is his real mother? Did he know his real father? And if all he suspects is true, what should he do? In this artful tale of a young boy's journey, His Illegal Self lifts your spirit in the most unexpected way. From the Trade Paperback edition.
At the beginning of the twenty-first century it is necessary to combine into a productive programme the striving for individual emancipation and the social practice of humanism, in order to help the world survive both the ancient pitfalls of particularist terrorism and the levelling tendencies of cultural indifference engendered by the renewed imperialist arrogance of hegemonial global capital. In this book, thirty-five scholars address and negotiate, in a spirit of learning and understanding, an exemplary variety of intercultural splits and fissures that have opened up in the English-speaking world. Their methodology can be seen to constitute a seminal field of intellectual signposts. They point out ways and means of responsibly assessing colonial predicaments and postcolonial developments in six regions shaped in the past by the British Empire and still associated today through their allegiance to the idea of a Commonwealth of Nations. They show how a new ethic of literary self-assertion, interpretative mediation and critical responsiveness can remove the deeply ingrained prejudices, silences and taboos established by discrimination against race, class and gender.
Peter Carey is one of Australia's finest creative writers, much admired by both literary critics and a worldwide reading public. Fabulating Beauty pays tribute to Carey's literary achievement. It brings, together the voices of many of the most renowned Carey critics in twenty essays (sixteen commissioned especially for this volume), an interview with the author as well as the most extensive bibliography of Carey criticism to date. The studies represent a wide range of current perspectives on the writer's fictions.
Lloyd Jones' new novel is set mainly in a small village on Bougainville, a country torn apart by civil war. Matilda attends the school set up by Mr Watts, the only white man on the island. By his own admission he's not much of a teacher and proceeds to educate the children by reading them Great Expectations. Matilda falls in love with the novel, strongly identifying with Pip. The promise of the next chapter is what keeps her going; Pip's story protects her from the horror of what is happening around her - helicopters menacing the skies above the village and rebel raids on the ground. When the rebels visit the village searching for any remaining men to join their cause, they discover the name Pip written in the sand and instigate a search for him. When Pip can't be found the soldiers destroy the book. Mr Watts then encourages the children to retell the story from their memories. Then when the rebels invade the village, the teacher tells them a story which lasts seven nights, about a boy named Pip, and a convict . . .
In recent years works such as Jean Rhys's Wide Sargasso Sea, J.M. Coetzee's Foe and Peter Carey's Jack Maggs, which 'write back' to classic English texts, have attracted considerable attention as offering a paradigm for the relationship between post-colonial writing and the 'canon'. Thieme's study provides a broad overview of such writing, focusing both on responses to texts that have frequently been associated with the colonial project or the construction of 'race' (The Tempest, Robinson Crusoe, Heart of Darkness and Othello) and texts where the interaction between culture and imperialism is slightly less overt (Great Expectations, Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights). The post-colonial con-texts examined are located within their particular social and cultural backgrounds with emphasis on the different forms their responses to their pre-texts take and the extent to which they create their own discursive space. Using Edward Said's models of filiative relationships and affiliative identifications, the book argues that 'writing back' is seldom adversarial, rather that it operates along a continuum between complicity and oppositionality that dismantles hierarchical positioning. It also suggests that post-colonial appropriations of canonical pre-texts frequently generate re-readings of their 'originals'. It concludes by considering the implications of this argument for discussions of identity politics and literary genealogies more generally. Authors examined include Chinua Achebe, Margaret Atwood, Kamau Brathwaite, Peter Carey, J.M. Coetzee, Robertson Davies, Wilson Harris, Elizabeth Jolley, Robert Kroetsch, George Lamming, Margaret Laurence, Pauline Melville, V.S. Naipaul, Caryl Phillips, Ngugi wa Thiong'o, Jean Rhys, Salman Rushdie, Djanet Sears, Sam Selvon, Olive Senior, Jane Urquhart and Derek Walcott.
Every year, Robert Adams prepares a series of five reviews of contemporary novels, to be delivered alone on a theatre stage to sold-out audiences in Toronto and Montreal. In A Love of Reading Adams has now gathered 18 of his most brilliant reviews, from Jack Maggs by Peter Carey and The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver, to A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry and Barney’s Version by Mordecai Richler. In them he skillfully interweaves a nimble and entertaining discussion of plot, theme, and characterization with fascinating historical, biographical, and literary context. He is repeatedly drawn to the spectacle of less-than-perfect humans making their way in a hostile world, and as a result a review by Robert Adams is almost always a hugely satisfying mix of rich pathos and abundant humour. Famously, Adams reads a book a day, from which he selects only those novels that are truly extraordinary, that have made him see some part of the world or some aspect of the human condition in a new light – because for Adams, the best books always take the reader on a journey, with a destination very distant from the point of departure. It should be not only a journey of discovery – an exploration of the author’s vision – but also of risk. By matching one’s own vision to that of the author, says Adams, the reader enters an exciting negotiation to produce a new vision of his own. This joint enterprise between reader and writer, the shared risk and the wonder of discovery, is the foundation of A Love of Reading. • For the last six years, Robert Adams has presented an annual series of book reviews to sold out audiences. Eighty per cent of Adams’ 3,000 subscribers in Toronto and Montreal renew for the following season • This book is a selection of modern classics from a discriminating and entertaining guide • Perfect for reading groups • Quill & Quire, noting the jump in sales of any book reviewed by Adams, has called the phenomenon “The Adams Effect” From the Hardcover edition.