The Making of Thomas Keneally


The making of Thomas Keneally can be conventionally addressed in regard to his Irish Catholic working-class ancestry, his discovery of a vocation that was not the priesthood, and the forging of a career that has been at once an artistic and a commercial success. The approach here will be more oblique, examining the role of Manning Clark, the early volumes of whose A History of Australia were an important influence on such novels by Keneally as Bring Larks and Heroes (1968), and to a lesser extent Patrick White, in the making of Thomas Keneally; also the ways in which – as Keneally himself put it, with some ambivalence – ‘the critics made me.’

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Published 30 May 2015 in Volume 30 No. 1. Subjects: Writer - critic relations, Writer's recognition & popularity, Writer-reader relations, Tom Keneally.

Cite as: Pierce, Peter. ‘The Making of Thomas Keneally.’ Australian Literary Studies, vol. 30, no. 1, 2015.