Skip to the content

Peter Carey

Peter Carey was born in Australia in 1943. He was educated at the local state school until the age of eleven and then became a boarder at Geelong Grammar School. He was a student there between 1954 and 1960. In 1961 he studied science for a single, unsuccessful year at Monash University. He was then employed by an advertising agency where he began to receive his literary education, meeting Faulkner, Joyce, Kerouac and other writers he had previously been unaware of. For the next thirteen years he wrote fiction at night and weekends, working in many advertising agencies in Melbourne, London and Sydney. After four novels had been written and rejected, The Fat Man in History — a short story collection — was published in 1974.  Between 1976 and 1990, he was able to pursue literature obsessively. It was during this period that he wrote War CrimesBliss, IllywhackerOscar and LucindaIllywhacker was short listed for the Booker Prize. Oscar and Lucinda won it. In 1990 he moved to New York where he completed The Tax Inspector. He taught at NYU one night a week. Later he would have similar jobs at Princeton, The New School and Barnard College. During these years he wrote The Unusual Life of Tristan SmithJack Maggs, and True History of the Kelly Gang for which he won his second Booker Prize. In 2003 he joined Hunter College as the Director of the MFA Program in Creative Writing.  Since then he has published seven novels novels: My Life as a FakeTheft, His Illegal Self, The Chemistry of Tears, Parrot and Olivier in America (which was a finalist for both the U.S National Book Award and the Man Booker Prize.), Amnesia and most recently, A Long Way From Home. 



Peter Carey Titles