Thomas Keneally

Tom Keneally

Thomas Keneally


Thomas Keneally, the oldest of the debaters in Borrowed Voice: Freedom of Expression vs. Cultural Appropriation, was born in 1935 and his first novel was published in 1964. Since then he has written a considerable number of novels and non-fiction works. His novels include The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith, Schindler’s List, and The People’s Train. His latest novel, Napoleon’s Last Island, is about to be published in the UK and has been bought for a British TV series.  His history books include The Great Shame, Australians and The Commonwealth of Thieves.

He has won the Miles Franklin Award, the Booker Prize, the Los Angeles Times Prize, the Mondello International Prize, the Helmrich Award (US), and has been made a Literary Lion of the New York Public Library, is recipient of the University of California gold medal, and is now the subject of a 55 cent Australian stamp. In 2014 he received an Irish Presidential Distinguished Service Award for his services to Irish culture. He is a fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Royal Society of Literature.

He has honorary doctorates from the National University of Ireland; the University of Queensland; the Catholic University of Australia; the University of Western Sydney; Rollins College (US); Fairleigh Dickenson University (US); University of Technology, Sydney, the University of New South Wales, the University of Wollongong and the University of South Australia.. He has held academic posts at New York University and the University of California. A recent book, Napoleon’s Last Island, will be made into a British mini-series next year. His most recent book is Crimes of the Father. He has written two convict-era mysteries, The Soldier’s Curse, and The Unmourned, with his daughter Margaret. He lives with his wife. Judith, in Manly in Sydney. 

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