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Two Old Men Dying - Tom Keneally

Paperback Published: 29th October 2018
ISBN: 9780143785415
Number Of Pages: 336

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In perhaps his boldest and most personal novel, Tom Keneally explores the journeys of modern Australians alongside the imagined story of ancient Learned Man whose remains were discovered in Western NSW some decades ago.

Learned Man is the child of the extraordinary cognitive leap that created humankind, as we know it, thought to have sprung from the Rift Valley in Africa and soon after travelling to ancient Australia.

Shelby, the acclaimed documentary-maker, like Learned Man influenced by Heroes, thinks embattled Eritrean society holds promise that it might represent the new cognitive leap, the one that will reconcile our tenderness and our savagery, our reason and our emotions so that we are no longer a dichotomy between the two, so that we are no longer both poets and killers, but a clear-headed and less dichotomised being. Both the old men of the novel have a lens between themselves and reality. Learned Man sees the world through the lens of his responsibility under law. Shelby sees the world through the lens of his camera.

Both men are well aware that their landscape comes to them from elders and hero ancestors. Learned speaks to the heroes in dream-trances, Shelby through his camera. The way the hero ancestors speak to and make demands of Learned, heroes and elders speak to Shelby. Both men, Learned and Shelby, are willing to die and, in a sense, kill for their secret crafts. Learned kills a man to save the women and future of his tribe; similarly Shelby’s fellow cameraman is a sacrifice to the stories his camera must share, in this instance action in the Vietnam War.

About the Author

Thomas Keneally was born in 1935 and his first novel was published in 1964. Since then he has written a considerable number of novels and non-fiction works. His novels include The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith, Schindler's List and The People's Train. He has won the Miles Franklin Award, the Booker Prize, the Los Angeles Times Prize, the Mondello International Prize and has been made a Literary Lion of the New York Public Library, a Fellow of the American Academy, recipient of the University of California gold medal, and is now the subject of a 55 cent Australian stamp.

He has held various academic posts in the United States, but lives in Sydney.

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ISBN: 9780143785415
ISBN-10: 0143785419
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 336
Published: 29th October 2018
Publisher: Random House Australia
Country of Publication: AU
Dimensions (cm): 23.4 x 15.4  x 2.6
Weight (kg): 0.43

Thomas Keneally


About the Author


Thomas Keneally won the Booker Prize in 1982 with Schindler's Ark, later made into the Academy Award-winning film Schindler's List by Steven Spielberg. His non-fiction, includes the memoir Searching For Schindler and Three Famines, an LA Times Book of the Year, and the histories The Commonwealth Of Thieves, The Great Shame and American Scoundrel.

His fiction, includes The Daughters Of Mars, The Widow And Her Hero (shortlisted for the Prime Minister's Literary Award), An Angel In Australia and Bettany's Book. His novels The Chant of Jimmy Blacksmith, Gossip from the Forest, and Confederates were all shortlisted for the Booker Prize, while Bring Larks and Heroes and
Three Cheers For The Paraclete won the Miles Franklin Award. 

The People's Train was longlisted for the Miles Franklin Award and shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers Prize, South East Asia division.

Visit Thomas Keneally's Booktopia Author Page


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