Olivier is a French aristocrat, the child of survivors of the revolution. Parrot, the son of an English printer, is a restless servant. When Olivier sets sail for the New World - ostensibly to study its prisons, but in reality to avoid another revolution - Parrot is sent with him, as spy, protector, foe and foil. They are an unlikely pair, but where better for unlikely things to flourish than in the glorious, brand-new democratic experiment, America? And who better than Carey to show what Americans do not always wish to see- that their earliest observers included some who foresaw disastrous consequences for that experiment, well before they became headlines around the world.
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.