Thomas Keneally is one of Australia's most popular and prolific writers, having published more than 30 novels, dramas, screenplays and books of non-fiction. He is also one of its most distinguished, winning numerous prizes including the Booker for Schindler's Ark, later made into Academy Award winning film Schindler’s List.
A fellow of the prestigious American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Tom is also widely known as the founding chairman of the Australian Republican Movement. This garrulous character describes himself as a free-thinking hedonist.
Tom tell of how he first learned of the Oscar Schindler story while having his briefcase mended in a small Los Angeles store owned by one of Schindler's holocaust survivor.
Tom was born in Sydney in 1935, and studied for the priesthood as a young man and then began a career in school teaching before his literary success enabled him to become a full-time writer.
In addition to the Booker Prize and the Miles Franklin Awards, Tom Keneally has also won the Los Angeles Book Prize, the Royal Society of Literature Prize, the Scripter Award of the University of Southern California, the Mondello International Prize and the Helmerich Prize (U.S.).
Thomas Keneally holds a number of national and international honorary doctorates and is particularly proud of the one awarded by the National University of Ireland. He has also been awarded the Gold Medal of the University of California. In 1983 he received the Order of Australia for his services to Australian Literature and in 1997 was declared one of Australia's ‘100 Living Treasures'.