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About the book
  • Published: 22 April 2015
  • ISBN: 9780143571209
  • Imprint: Penguin
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 496
  • RRP: $19.99

True History of the Kelly Gang




True History of the Kelly Gang is Peter Carey's stunning, Booker Prize-winning novel about Australia's most famous outlaw.

True History of the Kelly Gang is Peter Carey's stunning, Booker Prize-winning novel about Australia's most famous outlaw.

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.

'Vastly entertaining . . . Triumphantly eclectic, as if Huck Finn and Shakespeare had joined forces to prettify the legend of Jesse James.' New York Times

'The ingenuity, empathy, and poetic ear that the novelist brings to his feat of imposture cannot be rated too high.' John Updike, The New Yorker

'By turns rambunctious and tender, teeming with life and incident . . . richly imagined, ambivalent and passionate.' James Bradley, The Bulletin

'Brilliantly executed . . . Carey's Kelly is filled out in Browningesque depth.' Times Literary Supplement

'A true wonder. It's lyrical and hard-edged at the same time, constantly inventive, pell-mell in its storytelling . . . This is just amazing writing.' Kent Haruf
'A bravura performance.' Wall Street Journal





  • Pub date: 22 April 2015
  • ISBN: 9780143571209
  • Imprint: Penguin
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 496
  • RRP: $19.99

About the Author

Peter Carey

Peter Carey was born in Bacchus Marsh Australia and lives in New York City.


His novels have been shortlisted for the Booker Prize four times and have won it twice (for Oscar and Lucinda and True History of the Kelly Gang). Carey has also won the Commonwealth prize twice and Australia’s Miles Franklin three times.

He is an officer of the Order of Australia (AO) and a Fellow of both the Royal Society of Literature and the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

In his 28 years living in New York he has produced classic works of Australian literature including True History of the Kelly Gang and A Long Way from Home.


Since 2003 he has been a Distinguished Professor at Hunter College in New York where he is the Executive Director of a highly selective MFA in Creative Writing.


Peter Carey supports the Bushwick literacy group 'Still Waters in a Storm' www.stillwatersinastorm.org, a refuge for immigrant kids in the age of Trump.

He is married to the literary agent Frances Coady.

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