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Peter Carey, photo by Ashley Gilbertson
Peter Carey


NYS Writers Institute, February 3, 2015

4:15 p.m. Seminar | Campus Center Room 375, Uptown Campus
8:00 p.m. Reading | Lecture Center 20, Uptown Campus


Peter Carey, major Australian novelist and two-time winner of the Man Booker Prize, will read from his new cyber-terrorism political thriller, Amnesia (2015), at 8:00 p.m., Tuesday, February 3, 2015 in Lecture Center 20, Academic Podium on the University at Albany uptown campus, 1400 Washington Ave., Albany. Earlier that same day at 4:15 p.m., the author will present an informal seminar in Campus Center 375 on the uptown campus. The events are free and open to the public, and are sponsored by the New York State Writers Institute.

Peter Carey,
author of outrageous and imaginative fiction, has been called “Australia’s master novelist,” (The Economist) and “the most exuberant stylist at work in English today” (Edmund White, London Daily Telegraph). His thirteen novels have invited comparisons to the work of Kurt Vonnegut and Evelyn Waugh. Carey is one of only three authors to have won the Man Booker Prize twice (the others are J. M. Coetzee and Hillary Mantel).

Carey’s newest novel is Amnesia (2015), a cyber-terrorism political thriller that explores Australia’s history and politics, and its quasi-colonial relationship with the United States, during three different periods of recent history: the 1940s, the 1970s, and the present-day era of cybersecurity, hackers, and WikiLeaks. Carey has said in recent interviews that his new novel is inspired in part by the exploits of Australian national and WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange. Amnesia tells the story of Felix Moore, Australia’s “sole remaining left-wing journalist” at work on a biography of a beautiful wanted hacker, Gaby Baillieux, whose “Angel Worm” virus has infected a corporation responsible for securing prisons in the United States.

amnesiaReviewing the novel in the Guardian, Andrew Motion said, “Peter Carey’s fiction is turbo-charged, hyperenergetic….. [This is] a deeply engaging book. It responds to some of the biggest issues of our time, and reminds us that no other contemporary novelist is better able to mix farce with ferocity, or to better effect.” James Runcie of the London Independent called it, “exhilarating, the first Australian comedy-conspiracy-cyber thriller. It even has a viral twist at the end…. Carey can do anything.”

Other recent books by Carey include the novels, The Chemistry of Tears (2012), Parrot and Olivier in America (2010), His Illegal Self (2008), Theft: A Love Story (2006), and My Life As a Fake (2003). Carey received his second Man Booker Prize for True History of the Kelly Gang (2001), a runaway international bestseller about a famous band of Australian highwaymen. In a New York Times review of that novel, Anthony Quinn said that Carey “has transformed sepia legend into brilliant, even violent, color, and turned a distant myth into warm flesh and blood. Packed with incident, alive with comedy and pathos, [it] contains pretty much everything you could ask of a novel. It is an adjectival wonder.”

Carey received his first Booker Prize for Oscar and Lucinda (1988), the story of two problem gamblers, an English priest and an Australian heiress. The novel was adapted as a 1997 motion picture starring Ralph Fiennes and Cate Blanchett.

Previous Visits: April 7, 2009 and April 9, 2002

For additional information, contact the Writers Institute at 518-442-5620 or online at https://www.albany.edu/writers-inst.