Books and Ideas at Montalto
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Meg and Tom Keneally
Tom and Meg Keneally are an unlikely crack novel-writing team who write about an unlikely crack murder-investigation team.
Tom Keneally is an icon of Australian literature: a Booker Prize-winner, a Miles Franklin-winner, and the author of The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith, Schindler’s Ark and other classics. Meg Keneally is a former journalist and PR specialist turned crime writer. The father-daughter pair have now co-written four books in the Monsarrat historical crime-novel series, about a convict and his trusted housekeeper who travel between Australian penal colonies cracking murder cases.
Their latest book, The Ink Stain, sees Monsarrat and Mrs Mulrooney travel to Sydney to investigate a corruption case that might extend all the way to the governor.
How did the Keneally collaboration come about? What are their creative similarities and differences as writers? Hear from this pair of gifted storytellers as they answer these questions, and many more, at Montalto with Elizabeth McCarthy.
Meg Keneally is the co-author, with father Tom Keneally, of the Monsarrat Series of historical crime novels.
Tom Keneally won the Booker Prize in 1982 with Schindler's Ark, later made into the Steven Spielberg-directed, Academy Award-winning film Schindler's List. His non-fiction includes the memoir Searching for Schindler and Three Famines, an LA Times Book of the Year, and the histories The Commonwealth of Thieves, The Great Shame and American Scoundrel.
His fiction includes Shame and the Captives, The Daughters of Mars, The Widow and Her Hero (shortlisted for the Prime Minister's Literary Award), An Angel in Australia and Bettany's Book. His novels The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith, Gossip from the Forest, and Confederates were all shortlisted for the Booker Prize, while Bring Larks and Heroes and Three Cheers for the Paraclete won the Miles Franklin Award. The People's Train was longlisted for the Miles Franklin Award and shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers Prize, South East Asia division.
His latest book is Napoleon’s Last Island, published by Random House in November 2015.
Elizabeth McCarthy has worked as a producer and presenter in radio for 20 years. She produces the breakfast show at Australia’s biggest independent broadcaster, 3RRR, and reviews books on 3RRR and ABC Radio Melbourne. In 2019 she was the convenor of the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for Fiction, and from 2013–2017 she anchored Triple R’s flagship books and writing show, Multi-Storied.
She regularly interviews writers at live events and public conversations for the Wheeler Centre, Sydney Writers’ Festival, Melbourne Writers Festival, and more. She has previously worked as a music reviewer, and from 2002 – 2006 she was the drummer and co-lyricist for Melbourne swamp-rock grrrl band, The Muddy Spurs.