‘The Critics Made Me’: The Receptions of Thomas Keneally and Australian Literary Culture
While Thomas Keneally himself generously acknowledges that 'the critics made me' (Pierce, Interview), few Australian authors - in the course of long, productive and internationally acclaimed careers - have suffered such critical opprobrium in their own country. His perception of causes soon to be fashionable (such as the treatment of Australian Aborigines), his insistence on how the Australian present can be traced to its European social and intellectual origins, his espousal of an Australian republic, have held up a mirror to a generation of Australian readers. Nevertheless he has been subject to censure by some academic critics without losing a loyal general readership, in Australia and overseas.
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Published 1 May 1995 in Volume 17 No. 1. Subjects: Alienation, Australian culture, Book reviewing, Characterisation, Critical reception, Criticism, Historical fiction, Literary criticism, Writer - critic relations, Tom Keneally.