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A Long Way from Home

A Long Way from Home

by Peter Carey

Paperback / softback Publication Date: 30/10/2017

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Carey's most ambitious novel since True History of the Kelly Gang- a celebration and interrogation of the Australia of Peter's childhood.

He takes us on a wild ride around the country in 1954 by way of the famous Redex car trial, during which our protagonist, Willy Bachhuber, learns the poignant truth of his troubled past. It's a tender and wonderfully wry, portrait of Australia in the 1950s, reminiscent of Illywhacker in concerns and some characters.

We're in Bacchus Marsh in the 1950s, with car salesmen, an early aviator, and the lives of Irene Bobs and Willy Bachhuber, the narrators of this addictive tale. The striking Irene is ahead of her time, a fearless, big-hearted, independently minded woman. Her next door neighbour Willy seems to be constantly in flight from his own life. He lacks social confidence but is extremely well read, so much so that he's a radio quiz champ. And he has a particular fondness for maps. When Irene's husband Titch decides to enter the Redex trial, Irene goes with him as co-driver, and Willy as navigator.

A fantastically fun and funny read, Peter's new novel is a major achievement.

ISBN:
9780143787075
Category:
Contemporary fiction
Format:
Paperback / softback
Publication Date:
30-10-2017
Publisher:
PENGUIN BOOKS AUSTRALIA
Country of origin:
Australia
Pages:
320
Peter Carey

Peter Carey was born in 1943, in Bacchus Marsh, Victoria, Australia. His parents, who had a General Motors dealership, sent him to Geelong Grammar School. He studied briefly at Monash University, but left after failing his first year science exams, after which he left to work as a copyrighter in advertising agencies in Melbourne and London. He moved to Sydney in 1974 where he continued copyrighting. His first collection of surreal short stories, War Crimes, was published in 1979, followed by The Fat Man in History in 1980. He then wrote three novels, Bliss (1981), about an advertising executive who has an out-of-body experience; Illywhacker (1985), a huge vision of Australian history told through the memoirs of a 100-year old confidence man or "illywhacker"; and Oscar and Lucinda (1988), a complex symbolic tale of the arrival of Christianity in Australia. In 1990/1991 he moved to New York, with his wife, Alison Summers, a theater director, and his son, to teach creative writing at University of New York. The Tax Inspector was published in 1991, then came The Unusual Life of Tristran Smith (1994); Jack Maggs (1997), True History of the Kelly Gang (2001), My Life as a Fake (2003) and Theft (2006). He has also written the film script for Until the End of the World (1992), and co-wrote the screenplay for the film adaptation of Bliss (1985). Oscar and Lucinda was also adapted for film in 1997, with a screenplay written by Laura Jones. In addition to his adult fiction, he has written a number of other books including The Big Bazoohley (for children, 1995) and 30 Days in Sydney: A Wildly Distorted Account (non-fiction, 2001) and Wrong about Japan (2005), a memoir/travelogue of his journey through Japan with his son Charley and their attempts to understand the Japanese culture and heritage. He still lives in New York, and is executive director of the Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing program at Hunter College, part of the City University of New York. He has been awarded three honorary degrees and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, the Australian Academy of Humanities and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

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