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Peter Carey’s reckoning with Australia’s genocidal past

A Long Way From Home dramatises a collision of two histories

By Josie Mitchell   March 2018
Battle over history: Aboriginal embassy (Pixabay)

Battle over history: Aboriginal embassy (Pixabay)

Peter Carey—two-time winner of the Booker Prize, a laurel shared only by Hilary Mantel and JM Coetzee—has written many books that interrogate the narratives of his native Australia. These range from his folkloric account of legendary outlaw Ned Kelly in True History of the Kelly Gang, to Amnesia’s conspiracy theories surrounding the government’s 1975 constitutional crisis. In 2006, the Paris Review asked Carey what tied his novels together: “the invention of my country” he suggested cagily, suspicious of the…

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