The Great Shame: A Triumph of the Irish
in the English-Speaking World
Thomas Keneally is an Australian fiction and nonfiction writer. He is the Booker Prize-winning author of Schindler's List and his most recent nonfiction work, The Great Shame: A Triumph of the Irish in the English-Speaking World, is an epic history of the Irish Diaspora. It encompasses the modern Irish experience in all concerns of the globe, and includes the story of the author's forebears, immigrants to Australia.
Keneally's career is built on historical novels of popular acclaim and critical distinction. He is best known for Schindler's List (1982), winner of the L.A. Times Fiction Prize and Booker Prize, and the basis of Steven Spielberg's Oscar-winning film. Other works include Bring Larks and Heroes (1967), about Australia's early years as a penal colony; The Chant of Jimmy Blacksmith (1972), which received the Royal Society of Literature Award and was made into a successful Australian film; Blood Red, Sister Rose (1974), about Joan of Arc; Season of Purgatory (1977), about Yugoslave partisans during World War II; Confederates (1980), which treats the Civil War from a southern perspective and was chosen as a "notable book of 1980" by the American Library Association; A Family Madness, about the impact of World War II on later generations of Australians; To Asmara (1989), which dramatizes the African guerilla warfare of the 1980's; Woman of the Inner Sea (1992) based on the true story of a bereaved woman who resettles in the Australian outback; and A River Town (1995), based on the turn-of-the-century experiences of the author's grandparents as Irish immigrants to New South Wales.
Thomas Keneally visited the NYS Writers Institute on September 30, 1999.
"Thomas Keneally is a builder, a gifted, painstaking maker of books." - John Skow of Time Magazine
"Thomas Keneally recounts history with the uncanny skill of a great novelist whose only interest is to lay bare the human heart in all its hope and pain. . .Irishmen and Irishwomen of a century and a half ago live once more within the pages of this book." - Thomas Cahill on The Great Shame
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