AustLit logo
NLA image of person
Peter Carey Peter Carey i(A25491 works by) (a.k.a. Peter Philip Carey)
Born: Established: 1943 Bacchus Marsh, Bacchus Marsh - Ballan area, Melbourne - Outer West / North West, Melbourne, Victoria, ;
Gender: Male
Expatriate assertion Departed from Australia: 1989
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.

BiographyHistory

Peter Carey was born in 1943 at Bacchus Marsh, Victoria. He was educated locally and at Geelong Grammar School before beginning a science degree at Monash University, Melbourne, in 1961. After a serious car accident he discontinued his studies and began work at an advertising agency where he met writers Barry Oakley and Morris Lurie. Carey wrote the first of several unpublished novels in 1964 and published a number of short stories before travelling in Europe between 1967-70.

After his return to Australia in 1970, Carey continued to work in advertising and wrote the stories that were collected in his first published book, The Fat Man in History (1974). During the 1970s he resided in Sydney and Yandina, an alternative community. The security of his work in advertising enabled him to pursue his experimental narratives, leading to the publication of Bliss which won a number of awards in 1982, including the Miles Franklin Award. Carey won the prestigious Booker Prize in 1988 for Oscar and Lucinda and collaborated on that novel's adaptation to film. In 1989 he moved to New York where he teaches creative writing and continues to work on his own writing projects. Carey's Jack Maggs (1997) and True History of the Kelly Gang (2000) have attracted more awards, indicating that his reputation in Australian literature is firmly established.

The blend of surrealism and realism in Carey's fiction has often been attributed to the influence of his reading of Gabriel Garcia Marquez's fiction. Carey's fabulism, while not simply derivative, employs an accessible prose style that has attracted many readers of fantasy and science fiction. Critics have shown that Carey's use of ambiguous narrators and other destabilising narrative techniques reveal the many contradictions of contemporary life.

Carey has had dual Australian-USA citizenship since 2002. In 2004 he was listed as one of Australia's 40 most influential people by the Australian newspaper.

Most Referenced Works

Personal Awards

2012 Order of Australia Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) For distinguished service to literature as a novelist, through international promotion of the Australian identity, as a teacher, and as a mentor to emerging writers.
2012 International Awards Bodley Medal
2009 contender International Awards Man Booker International Prize

Awards for Works

y separately published work icon A Long Way from Home Camberwell : Hamish Hamilton , 2017 11398690 2017 single work novel

'The two-time Booker Prize-winning author now gives us a wildly exuberant, wily new novel that circumnavigates 1954 Australia, revealing as much about the country-continent as it does about three audacious individuals who take part in the infamous 10,000 mile race, the Redex Trial.

'Irene Bobs loves fast driving. Her husband is the best car salesman in south eastern Australia. Together they enter the Redex Trial, a brutal race around the ancient continent, over roads no car will ever quite survive. With them is their lanky fair-haired navigator, Willie Bachhuber, a quiz show champion and failed school teacher who calls the turns and creeks crossings on a map that will remove them, without warning, from the white Australia they all know so well. This is a thrilling high speed story that starts in one way, and then takes you some place else. It is often funny, more so as the world gets stranger, and always a page-turner even as you learn a history these characters never knew themselves.' (Publication summary)

2019 shortlisted International Awards The Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction
2019 longlisted International Awards International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award
2018 shortlisted Prime Minister's Literary Awards Fiction
2018 longlisted Miles Franklin Literary Award
2018 shortlisted ASAL Awards ALS Gold Medal
2018 shortlisted Australian Book Industry Awards (ABIA) Australian Literary Fiction Book of the Year
2018 longlisted Indie Awards Fiction
y separately published work icon Amnesia Melbourne : Penguin , 2014 7180904 2014 single work novel thriller (taught in 1 units)

''It was a spring evening in Washington DC; a chilly autumn morning in Melbourne; it was exactly 22.00 Greenwich Mean Time when a worm entered the computerised control systems of hundreds of Australian prisons and released the locks in many places of incarceration, some of which the hacker could not have known existed. Because Australian prison security was, in the year 2010, mostly designed and sold by American corporations the worm immediately infected 117 US federal correctional facilities, 1,700 prisons, and over 3,000 county jails. Wherever it went, it traveled underground, in darkness, like a bushfire burning in the roots of trees. Reaching its destinations it announced itself: THE CORPORATION IS UNDER OUR CONTROL. THE ANGEL DECLARES YOU FREE.'

'Has a young Australian woman declared cyber war on the United States? Or was her Angel Worm intended only to open the prison doors of those unfortunates detained by Australia's harsh immigration policies? Did America suffer collateral damage? Is she innocent? Can she be saved? ' (Publication abstract)

2015 shortlisted Prime Minister's Literary Awards Fiction
2015 shortlisted Australian Book Industry Awards (ABIA) Australian Literary Fiction Book of the Year
2015 longlisted ASAL Awards ALS Gold Medal
2015 shortlisted Indie Awards Fiction
y separately published work icon The Chemistry of Tears Camberwell : Hamish Hamilton , 2012 Z1812133 2012 single work novel

'When Catherine's lover dies suddenly, she has no-one to turn to - their affair had been disguised from their colleagues and his family - except her work. A middle-aged curator in a London museum, Catherine is given a very particular project by the perceptive head of her department: a box of intricate clockwork parts that appear to be the remains of a nineteenth century automaton - a beautifully made mechanical bird.

'When she discovers that the box also contains the diary of the man who commissioned the machine, she is partially rescued from one obsession by another - who were Henry Brandling and the mysterious, visionary clockmaker he hired to make a gift for his absent son? And what was the end result that now sits in pieces in her studio?

'The Chemistry of Tears is both wildly entertaining and deeply moving, a portrait of love and loss that is simultaneously delicate and anarchic. At its heart is an image only the masterful Peter Carey could breath such life into - an object made of equal parts magic, art and science, a delight that contains the seeds of our age's downfall.' (From the publisher's website.)

2014 longlisted International Awards International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award
2013 shortlisted Prime Minister's Literary Awards Fiction Fiction
2012 shortlisted Queensland Literary Awards Fiction Book Award
Last amended 12 Mar 2015 16:23:05
Other mentions of "" in AustLit:
    X