Thursday, May 18, 2006

Went to see...

... Peter Carey read tonight from his new novel Theft. He was quite engaging, read well, and had some very interesting things to say. One was something that Richard Burgin had said to me at lunch last summer - that people often have a hard time believing that fiction writers make things up. They always seem to think that the novelist or story writer has based his characters and incidents on real people, places, events. In connection with this, he said one the things he likes about writing fiction is the opportunity it provides of getting away from himself. He certainly made one want to read his book.

Update: Here is John Freeman review of Theft, which ran in yesterday's Inquirer: Failed artist discovers a different route back to success. My wife read this review and phoned me at the office to say she was going to see Carey read at the library and to meet her there with a copy of the book. Which is how I came to be there and why Debbie now has an autographed copy of the novel.


  1. Very interesting insight and very true about how readers perceive the inspiration for novels. I think that if the characters are so believable that readers would mistake them for real people, then that is a huge compliment to the writer.

  2. Actually, Carey also said much the same thing himself - that the achievement was in creating characters vivid enough to make them seem that they had to be real.

  3. Anonymous12:57 AM

    In case people are interested. Peter Carey has a new website with snippets of each book he has written. It's

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