Widely heralded as the greatest living historical novelist in English, the Booker Prize winning author of Schindler’s Ark Thomas Keneally joins us with a sweeping new tale of injustice and war.
For fifty years Thomas Keneally has been celebrated as the preeminent master of Australian letters; a novelist whose work has shaped our collective memory.
In this livestreamed conversation with former Times Literary Editor Erica Wagner, the four time Booker nominee – and first Australian ever to win the prize – will explore Fanatic Heart, a new novel that renders the 19th century Irish patriot John Mitchel with the precision, realism, and psychological complexity that Keneally brought to figures including Abraham Lincoln and Oskar Schindler.
Summer, 1847. People are getting used to the corpses lying by the road and along the ditches. For John Mitchel – lawyer, journalist, activist, politician – the word ‘famine’ will forever conjure the hollowed faces of Ireland’s dead, the liquid Irish of the past now mute on their tongues.
Propelled by disgust at the injustice, Mitchel will do all he can to fight for the destitute, the starved, the forgotten. His odyssey will take him all the way to America – that land of promise – but it will draw him into a terrible paradox. He is trying to save lives – in doing so, will he betray the very people he is trying to protect?
This online event is free for members of How To Plus.
Praise for Thomas Keneally:
‘One of the world’s greatest writers.’ – Spectator
‘He writes with tenderness and pathos.’ – Irish Times
‘A grand master of historical fiction.’ – Mail on Sunday
‘He succeeds, with touches of brilliance, in bringing to life characters in more detail than history ever possibly could.’ – Sydney Morning Herald