Peter Carey was born in Bacchus Marsh in Victoria, Australia, in 1943. He studied Science at Monash University, and wrote advertising copy to support himself during the early part of his literary career. He began by writing surreal short stories, and published two collections, War Crimes (1979), and The Fat Man in History (1980). He then wrote 3 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. While writing his next novel, The Tax Inspector (1991), Peter Carey moved to New York, and has since written: The Unusual Life of Tristran Smith (1994); Jack Maggs (1997), billed as a re-imagining of Charles Dickens' Great Expectations; True History of the Kelly Gang (2001), told in fictional letters from the Australian outlaw and folk hero Ned Kelly to his estranged daughter; My Life as a Fake (2003), a story centered around a literary hoax which gripped Australia in the 1940s, Theft: A Love Story (2006), His Illegal Self (2008), Parrot & Olivier in America (2010) and The Chemistry of Tears (2012) Peter Carey wrote the script for the Wim Wenders film, Until the End of the World (1992), and co-wrote with Ray Lawrence, the screenplay for the film adaptation of Bliss (1985). Oscar and Lucinda was also adapted for film in 1997. He is a two-time Booker Prize winner.
About the interviewer:
RICHARD WOLINSKY hosts Bookwaves heard every Thursday at 3:00 pm on KPFA-FM in Berkeley