Peter Carey is one of this country’s best-loved and most internationally recognised authors. He has won or been shortlisted for every major literary prize in Australia. His novel A True History of the Kelly Gang won both the Man Booker Prize and the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize. His most recent book is Parrot and Olivier in America, which has just been longlisted for the Miles Franklin Award.
Here, he discusses literary fame and fortune, from Bacchus Marsh to New York.
Peter Carey was born in Australia in 1943. He claims his birthplace of Bacchus Marsh had a population of 4,000. This fact should probably be checked. He was educated at the local state school until the age of 11 and then became a boarder at Geelong Grammar School. He was a student there between 1954 and 1960 — after Rupert Murdoch had graduated and before Prince Charles arrived.
Louise Swinn is a writer, publisher, critic, literary event chair and the editor of Choice Words: A Collection of Writing About Abortion (Allen and Unwin, 2019). Her work appears regularly in the Age, the Australian and the Sydney Morning Herald. She was one of the founders of Sleepers Publishing, the Small Press Network and the Stella Prize.