Thomas Keneally

Literary Birthday – 7 October – Thomas Keneally

Happy Birthday, Thomas Keneally, born 7 October 1935.

Seven Quotes On Writing

  1. I was a weird eccentric kid but I did believe in the power of the word and of the word being made flesh I suppose, which again I suppose came from my temperament as well as my upbringing.
  2. We writers like to think that we can go in, plunder a story and get out cheap. We grab the story but the story also grabs us. So I suffered a sort of depression about myself and about the human species, about halfway through the writing. I still remember that from about spring of 1981. You don’t get out with a clean skin at all.
  3. I definitely wanted to be a writer, but having used up those educational resources, I felt a duty to the church and my parents to become a priest.
  4. All writers have memories of being on the outer because it’s the children on the side of the playground who become the dangerous writers.
  5. Whoever saves one life, saves the world entire.
  6. Meaning is everything and humans will never cease pursuing the question of meaning. Nor should they. Indeed, nor can they. We’re almost hard-wired to pursue the questions of meaning and significance.
  7. Paradox is beloved of novelists. The despised saviour, the humane whore, the selfish man suddenly munificent, the wise fool, and the cowardly hero. Most writers spend their lives writing about unexpected malice in the supposedly virtuous, and unexpected virtue in the supposedly sinful.

Thomas Keneally is an Australian writer. He has written 32 novels. He is also a playwright and author of non-fiction. He is best known for writing Schindler’s Ark, the Booker Prize-winning novel of 1982 which became Schindler’s List, the Academy Award-Winning film.


Eva Rinaldi, CC BY-SA 2.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons

by Amanda Patterson

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Posted on: 7th October 2012