Peter Carey


1943

7 May: PC born in Bacchus Marsh in Victoria, Australia.

1961

Attends Monash University for one year.

1962

Begins work at various Melbourne advertising agencies (until 1967).

1964

Marries Leigh Weetman, whom he met at Monash U. His first novel is rejected. His first five novels are all rejected.

1968

PC and Weetman move to London, where he works at ad agencies. His copy is well-respected, but his fiction can't find a publisher.

1970

Return to Australia; PC continues in advertising in Melbourne and Sydney.

1974

Publishes The Fat Man in History, a collection of short stories, mainly from 1970 to 1974.

1976

PC moves to Queensland, joins an alternative community named Starlight in Yandina, north of Brisbane, with his new partner, the painter Margot Hutcheson. Still employed at Grey Advertising, he writes in Yandina for three weeks, then spends the fourth week at the agency in Sydney. Here he produces most of the stories collected in War Crimes, as well as Bliss, his first published novel.

1979

Publishes War Crimes.

1980

New South Wales Premier's Literary Award for War Crimes.

Publishes The Fat Man in History and Other Stories, later published in 1981 as Exotic Pleasures.

Starts his own advertising agency, the Sydney-based McSpedden Carey Advertising Consultants.

After many years of separation, Leigh Weetman asks for a divorce. PC grants it.

1981

Moves to Bellingen in northern New South Wales.

Marries theatre director Alison Summers

Miles Franklin Award for Bliss.

1982

New South Wales Premier's Literary Award and National Book Council Award for Bliss.

1985

Bliss is produced as a movie. It wins awards for best film and best screenplay from the Australian Film Institute, and the Australian Writer's Guild Major Award.

Publishes Illywhacker, which is The Age Book of the Year winner and is shortlisted for the Booker Prize.

16 March: Marries Alison Summers, theatre director.

1986

Illywhacker wins the Victorian Premier's Literary Award and the National Book Council Award.

1988

Publishes Oscar and Lucinda, which wins the Booker Prize.

1990

Moves with Alison Summers and their son to New York, where he takes a job teaching creative writing at New York University.

1991

Publishes The Tax Inspector.

1994

Publishes The Unusual Life of Tristan Smith, a fable in which he explores the relationship between Australia and America. This is a relationship that has preoccupied him throughout his career, going back to Bliss, Illywhacker, and the early short stories.

2001

Publishes True History of the Kelly Gang, which wins the Booker Prize.

2003

Joins Hunter College at CUNY, as the Director of the MFA Program in Creative Writing.

2006

Publishes Theft: A Love Story, which receives much attention because it's seen as a roman a clef about his breakup with Alison Summers, depicting the toxic relationship between its protagonist, Butcher Bones, and his ex-wife, known only as "the Plaintiff." It is longlisted for the Booker Prize.

2008

Publishes His Illegal Self.

2010

Publishes Parrot and Olivier in America, his first truly American novel, loosely based on events in the life of Alexis de Tocqueville. It is shortlisted for both the Booker Prize and the US National Book Award.

2012

Publishes The Chemistry of Tears.

Named an Officer of the Order of Australia for "distinguished service to literature as a novelist, through international promotion of the Australian identity, as a teacher, and as a mentor to emerging writers."

2017

Publishes A Long Way From Home. (US publication date: 2018)



I did not know that history is like a blood stain that keeps on showing on the wall no matter how many new owners take possession, no matter how many times we paint over it.

images