As he flees the police, Ned Kelly scribbles his narrative in semiliterate but magically descriptive prose. To his pursuers he is a thief and a murderer. To his own people he's a hero for opposing the English. Ned, who saw his first prison cell at fifteen, has become the most wanted man in the wild colony of Victoria, taking over towns and defying authority. Here is a classic outlaw tale, made alive by the skill of a great novelist. There are no sentences like these in all Australian literature and yet they could only have grown from our soil.
Peter Carey was born in Bacchus Marsh, Victoria, and now lives in New York. He is the author of fourteen novels (including one for children), two volumes of short stories, and two books on travel. Amongst other prizes, Carey has won the Booker Prize twice (for Oscar and Lucinda and True History of the Kelly Gang), the Commonwealth Writers' Prize twice (for Jack Maggs and True History of the Kelly Gang), and the Miles Franklin Literary Award three times (for Bliss, Oscar and Lucinda and Jack Maggs). He is an officer of the Order of Australia and a Fellow of both the Royal Society of Literature and the American Academy of Arts and Letters.