AustLit logo
Issue Details: First known date: 2009... 2009 Major Disputes and Achievements in Criticism on Keneally
The material on this page is available to AustLit subscribers. If you are a subscriber or are from a subscribing organisation, please log in to gain full access. To explore options for subscribing to this unique teaching, research, and publishing resource for Australian culture and storytelling, please contact us or find out more.

AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'Keneally’s works and the criticism on them have generated quite a number of controversial issues. In the 1960s and 1970s, challenges were presented in a seemingly gracious manner, constructive in a way in that Keneally later adopted some of the suggestions in his writing and that discussions on subjects deeply imbedded in the Australian imagination were meaningful in themselves. However, since the 1980s and in the 1990s especially, critics no longer associated Keneally with the great “Australian” concerns such as displacement and colonial memory, on the understanding that Keneally was simply too international to be of any “Australian” value, and too commercial to be a focus of highbrow criticism.' (29)

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

  • Appears in:
    y separately published work icon From Fixity to Fluidity : The Theme of Identity in Thomas Keneally's Fiction Xiaojin Zhou , Qindao : China Ocean University Press , 2009 Z1741824 2009 multi chapter work criticism

    'Born into an Irish Catholic family in Sydney, Thomas Keneally published his first novel, The Place at Whitton, in 1964, four years after he abandoned his study for priesthood. The success of that gothic horror set in a seminary triggered a successful writing career of over forty years, in which he produced 25 novels, while making frequent and fruitful incursions into the world of nonfiction. Today Keneally is Australia’s best-known writer and Australia’s living treasure. Although Spielberg’s Schindler’s List became a media event and a household word in the 1990s, it hardly qualified Keneally as an overnight sensation. By that time, Keneally was already a widely acclaimed writer in Britain and America, truly “international”, as the Australians would like to put it, since he had publishers on both sides of the Atlantic and had won the 1982 Booker Prize. Despite discernible changes in his earlier and later works, it’s almost impossible, even as a critical expediency, to divide Keneally’s writing career into clearly marked stages. Writing on both “Australian” and “international” themes, and constantly shifting between past and present, Keneally failed to follow the normal path of arrival, growth and maturity, much to the disappointment of some Australian critics, who eagerly delighted in anticipating the destination of his literary journey...' (Author's introduction)

    Qindao : China Ocean University Press , 2009
    pg. 29-40
Last amended 18 Sep 2015 06:23:58
29-40 Major Disputes and Achievements in Criticism on Keneallysmall AustLit logo