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Thomas Keneally

Author of Schindler's Ark

88+ Works 16,415 Members 277 Reviews 12 Favorited

About the Author

Thomas Keneally was born in Sydney, Australia on October 7, 1935. Although he initially studied for the Catholic priesthood, he abandoned that idea in 1960, turning to teaching and clerical work before writing and publishing his first novel, The Place at Whitton, in 1964. Since that time he has show more been a full-time writer, aside from the occasional stint as a lecturer or writer-in-residence. He won the Booker Prize in 1982 for Schindler's Ark, which Stephen Spielberg adapted into the film Schindler's List. He won the Miles Franklin Award twice with Bring Larks and Heroes and Three Cheers for the Paraclete. His other fiction books include The Chant of Jimmy Blacksmith, Gossip from the Forest, Confederates, The People's Train, Bettany's Book, An Angel in Australia, The Widow and Her Hero, and The Daughters of Mars. His nonfiction works include Searching for Schindler, Three Famines, The Commonwealth of Thieves, The Great Shame, and American Scoundrel. In 1983, he was awarded the order of Australia for his services to Australian Literature. Thomas Keneally is the recipient of the 2015 Australia Council Award for Lifetime Achievement in Literature. The award, formerly known as the Writers' Emeritus Award, recognises 'the achievements of eminent literary writers over the age of 60 who have made an outstanding and lifelong contribution to Australian literature. (Bowker Author Biography) show less
Disambiguation Notice:

(yid) VIAF:41842145


Works by Thomas Keneally

Schindler's Ark (1982) — some editions — 7,959 copies
The Daughters of Mars (2012) 665 copies
American Scoundrel (2002) 458 copies
Confederates (1979) 290 copies
The Playmaker (1987) 276 copies
Abraham Lincoln (2003) 267 copies
Woman of the Inner Sea (1992) 240 copies
A River Town (1995) 230 copies
The Office of Innocence (2002) 225 copies
Towards Asmara (1979) 196 copies
Gossip from the Forest (1975) 182 copies
A Family Madness (1985) 179 copies
Bettany's Book (2000) 173 copies
The Tyrant's Novel (2003) 166 copies
Napoleon's Last Island (2015) 166 copies
Bring Larks and Heroes (1967) 158 copies
Victim of the Aurora (1977) 147 copies
Shame and the Captives (2013) 140 copies
Blood Red, Sister Rose (1974) 124 copies
Flying Hero Class (1991) 121 copies
The People's Train (2009) 102 copies
The Widow and Her Hero (2007) 95 copies
Crimes of the Father (2016) 90 copies
Three famines (2010) 85 copies
The Dickens Boy (2020) 79 copies
Jacko (1993) 70 copies
The Survivor (1969) 64 copies
The Soldier's Curse (2016) 61 copies
Season in Purgatory (1976) 55 copies
A Dutiful Daughter (1971) 53 copies
Moses the Lawgiver (1975) 45 copies
Outback (1618) 43 copies
Homebush boy (1995) 38 copies
Cut Rate Kingdom (1832) 34 copies
Schindler's Ark (1600) 31 copies
By the Line (1989) 27 copies
Roos in shoes (2003) 26 copies
Australia (2013) 26 copies
Passenger (1979) 21 copies
The Fear (1965) 18 copies
The Ink Stain (2019) — Author — 15 copies
Corporal Hitler's Pistol (2021) 15 copies
A Country Too Far: Writings on Asylum Seekers (2013) — Editor — 14 copies
The Place at Whitton (1964) 14 copies
Our republic (1993) 7 copies
Bullies House (1981) 5 copies
Fanatic Heart (2022) 5 copies
The Pact (2020) 5 copies
Another country (2005) — Editor — 2 copies
Fanatic Heart 2 copies
The Book of Grandparents (2009) 2 copies
Face of Australia (2000) 1 copy
La città delle api (2000) 1 copy
1995 1 copy
Great Shame Map (1998) 1 copy

Associated Works

Voss (1957) — Introduction, some editions — 1,384 copies
Schindler's List [1993 film] (1993) — Original Book — 728 copies
Our Country's Good (1988) — some editions — 276 copies
The Best American Travel Writing 2005 (2005) — Contributor — 212 copies
Granta 86: Film (2004) — Contributor — 203 copies
Granta 83: This Overheating World (2003) — Contributor — 172 copies
Granta 70: Australia - The New New World (2000) — Contributor — 164 copies
Granta 91: Wish You Were Here (2005) — Contributor — 133 copies
10 Short Stories You Must Read This Year (2009) — Contributor — 105 copies
Atlas of the Great Irish Famine (2012) — Contributor — 69 copies
Strangers in Their Own Land: Young Jews in Germany and Austria Today (1727) — Preface, some editions — 58 copies
The Best Australian Essays: A Ten-Year Collection (2011) — Contributor — 29 copies
Writers on writing (2002) — Contributor — 28 copies
The Best Australian Essays 2004 (2004) — Contributor — 22 copies
The Best Australian Essays 2002 (2002) — Contributor — 21 copies
Introduction to book publishing (1977) — Introduction — 15 copies
The Best Australian Essays 2003 (2003) — Contributor — 14 copies
The best Australian stories 2001 (2001) — Contributor — 14 copies
Sydney: Biography of a city (1999) — Foreword — 13 copies
The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith [1978 film] (1978) — Original book — 5 copies
Invincibles the Legend of Bradmans 1948 (1998) — Foreword — 4 copies


1001 (62) 1001 books (71) 20th century (121) American Civil War (73) anthology (64) Australia (647) Australian (213) Australian author (85) Australian fiction (129) Australian history (102) Australian literature (240) biography (349) Booker Prize (86) Civil War (82) drama (71) DVD (64) essays (92) fiction (1,653) first edition (61) Germany (110) Granta (113) historical (127) historical fiction (521) history (812) Holocaust (693) Ireland (130) Irish History (68) Jews (92) literature (161) non-fiction (514) novel (312) Oskar Schindler (78) Poland (92) read (131) to-read (921) travel (73) unread (90) war (156) WWI (116) WWII (707)

Common Knowledge



1001 Group Read: November, 2011: Schindler's Ark (aka. Schindler's List) in 1001 Books to read before you die (December 2011)


Keneally can take characters and events from history and weave some amazing stories around them.

In the late 1800s, rather than run the risk of his underachieving sons tarnishing his reputation at home, Charles Dickens sent two of them to Australia.

This tale tells the imagined story of Edward, the tenth child of the esteemed author, as he tries to 'achieve' something with his life. Away from the pressures of being a Dickens, Edward is allowed to find his own path in life and to come to terms with his family and the expectations of them and himself.

Beautifully written, the characters literally jump off the pages. They are vivid, real, and highlight the early days of the Aussie larakin.
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Steven1958 | 7 other reviews | Nov 21, 2023 |
Most people have at least heard of this book, or the movie that was made from it, about the war profiteer turned savior of over a thousand Jews during WWII. I watched the movie in high school and then tried to read the book, but gave up due to how long and dry it was. That's probably the biggest mark against the book for most people--it's slow and plodding for at least the first several chapters. And throughout the entire book, the narrative is bogged down by so many names of locations and people, all of which are foreign to at least some of us (mostly Polish names, some German) and difficult to pronounce. However, I'm not sure Keneally should have done it differently, and if that is the only downside to the whole book, I would say there's a lot of reason to push through it and keep going. It does pick up a little after some of the early chapters, and in the end, I'm really glad I read it.

One thing that's always struck me about Schindler, and did even more so while reading this, is that he's not necessarily the type of person you would picture as a "savior." He was gruff, prone to fits of anger, and frankly had absolutely no respect for women at all. And yet, when he saw injustice and brutality happening, he was spurred into action. And while his motives for helping are examined multiple times in the book, it's clear that it's not just a matter of profit that he fights to keep his workers, considering the lengths he goes to at times to not just keep them but also to keep the SS from brutalizing them in his factory.

Though Schindler's actions are the focal point, the book also takes an up-close look at some of the people eventually saved by him. The book reads like a series of vignettes about Schindler himself and various of the different Schindlerjuden (Schindler Jews). Keneally states that he did his best to include only facts, while filling in conversation here and there, but because he couldn't possibly have every single detail, the story at times reads more like looking down on a scene, rather than being right there in it while it happens, as we've come to expect from novels. He makes it clear, though, when he couldn't corroborate a story, that it might be more legend than fact, and even this only happens a few times. Overall, the book is a fascinating, heartbreaking, and clear picture of one man who was completely unextraordinary most of his life, yet did an incredibly extraordinary thing during a dark and terrifying time in human history. Whether you've seen the movie or not, I recommend reading this book to pretty much everyone who's remotely interested in the subject matter, even if it does take you some time to get through it. It's worth it.
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Kristi_D | 91 other reviews | Sep 22, 2023 |
Having grown up in the Catholic faith, this book struck a chord of recognition for me. However, in no way do I mean to suggest that I or anyone I knew experienced physical abuse at the hands of the clergy or teaching nuns. I accept that the perpetrators need to be held to account and the church needs to be honest in its handling of these cases. Too the book...
HelenBaker | 8 other reviews | Mar 13, 2023 |
FROM AMAZON: 51-minute read
A young autistic woman finds her voice and a path toward justice in this uplifting short story about the power of family history by Thomas Keneally, award-winning author of Schindler’s List.

When Alison Strange receives a debt claim she can’t afford to pay from the Australian government’s unemployment office, she’s caught completely off-balance. As she wrestles with a slippery bureaucracy, her history-loving grandfather bolsters her resolve with the story of their ancestor John Strange, an English cobbler who was banished to Australia for his part in a political movement. Drawing inspiration from John’s life, Alison finds her own unique way to demand a future that’s fair for all.… (more)
Gmomaj | 3 other reviews | Feb 20, 2023 |


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