'Keneally has frequently put himself in the way of historical crises, and has risked and most often found his individual voice within epochal stories. Such patterns of risk-taking inform much of his work, including his engagement with American materials. Here I will focus on two of his several envisionings of the Civil War, the novel Confederates (1979) and the biography Abraham Lincoln (2003), and conclude with a differently focused work, the memoir Searching for Schindler (2007), which is an American autobiography in tone and strategy as much as in setting and character.'
'Internationally, Thomas Keneally is one of Australia’s most successful authors, whether in terms of critical reception, book sales, or author profile. He is probably best known as the author of Schindler’s List from 1982—Schindler’s Ark in Britain and Australasia—even if his fame in this regard has been somewhat obscured by Stephen Spielberg’s multi-Oscar-winning movie of 1993. The story of how Keneally came to write this book and its subsequent success is one of the more remarkable episodes in Australian book history, and of course it is by no means confined to Australia, its point of origin only in a very qualified sense. Published simultaneously in London, New York, and Sydney, Schindler’s List appeared in at least eight different English-language and fourteen foreign-language editions even before the release of Spielberg’s movie. It won the Booker Prize for 1982, the first by an Australian novelist, although Keneally had already been short-listed for the award on three occasions. Across the Atlantic, it was one of the New York Times ’ Best Books of 1982, and in the following year the winner of the Los Angeles Times Fiction Prize. The movie’s success meant new English and American editions together with a dozen or so translations in 1994 alone, including Turkish, Japanese, Chinese, and Catalan versions. New Czech and Marathi editions appeared as recently as 2009.' (Author's introduction)