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Theft: A Love Story :  A Love Story - Peter Carey

Theft: A Love Story

A Love Story

Paperback

Published: July 2007
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A darkly funny, brilliantly original new novel from two-times Booker winner Peter Carey.

'I don't know if my story is grand enough to be a tragedy, although a lot of shitty stuff did happen. It is certainly a love story but that did not begin until midway through the shitty stuff, by which time I had not only lost my 8-year-old son, but also my house and studio in Sydney where I had once been as famous as a painter could expect in his own backyard…'

So begins Peter Carey's highly charged, recklessly funny new novel. Narrated by artist Butcher Bones and his 'damaged 220 lb brother' Hugh, it recounts their adventures and troubles after Butcher's plummeting prices and spiralling drink problem force them to retreat from Sydney to northern New South Wales. Here the formerly famous artist is reduced to acting as caretaker for his patron and nurse to his idiot-savant brother. Then mysterious American beauty Marlene turns up one stormy night, clad in a pair of Manolo Blahniks. Claiming that the brothers' neighbour owns an original Jacques Liebovitz, she sets in motion a chain of events that could be the making or ruin of them all.

A truly brilliant novel - an act of fantastic writing bravura from Peter Carey, in which he once again displays his extraordinary flair for language - THEFT is a love poem of a completely unexpected kind. Ranging from the rural wilds of Australia to Manhattan via Sydney and Tokyo and exploring the ideas of art, fraud, responsibility and redemption, this is a dark, thought-provoking and stirring story that will also make you laugh out loud.

'A funny, gorgeous steal of a book' DAILY TELEGRAPH, UK

'It would be entirely unsurprising if Carey became the first ever triple Booker, or Man-Booker, winner' INDEPENDENT, UK

'[A] marvellously enjoyable new novel … under the author's blissful control' SUNDAY TIMES, UK

'Both hilarious and disquieting, a madcap ride' THE AGE

‘A new Peter Carey novel is a cause for joy … There is no better writer of voice working today … Carey has produced a humane, gloriously Australian book of grand passion’ GUARDIAN

'Carey frames a story that shifts before our eyes - maddeningly complex, hypnotically brilliant, entirely original' WASHINGTON POST

'His latest novel is one of his very best. I loved it' Carmen Callil, THE AUSTRALIAN 'Carey has a superb and impressive imagination' THE COURIER-MAIL 'A magnificent, high-stakes art heist … setting and action are icing on the emotional core of Carey's newest masterwork' PUBLISHERS WEEKLY 'Funny and compelling and interesting … a cracking read that carries a megaphone for brilliant, strong, original language from one of the masters' SUNDAY TELEGRAPH

Peter Carey

Peter Carey was born in Australia in 1943.

He was educated at the local state school until the age of eleven and then became a boarder at Geelong Grammar School. He was a student there between 1954 and 1960 — after Rupert Murdoch had graduated and before Prince Charles arrived.

In 1961 he studied science for a single unsuccessful year at Monash University. He was then employed by an advertising agency where he began to receive his literary education, meeting Faulkner, Joyce, Kerouac and other writers he had previously been unaware of. He was nineteen.

For the next thirteen years he wrote fiction at night and weekends, working in many advertising agencies in Melbourne, London and Sydney.

After four novels had been written and rejected The Fat Man in History — a short story collection — was published in 1974. This slim book made him an overnight success.

From 1976 Carey worked one week a month for Grey Advertising, then, in 1981 he established a small business where his generous partner required him to work only two afternoons a week. Thus between 1976 and 1990, he was able to pursue literature obsessively. It was during this period that he wrote War Crimes, Bliss, Illywhacker, Oscar and Lucinda. Illywhacker was short listed for the Booker Prize. Oscar and Lucinda won it. Uncomfortable with this success he began work on The Tax Inspector.

In 1990 he moved to New York where he completed The Tax Inspector. He taught at NYU one night a week. Later he would have similar jobs at Princeton, The New School and Barnard College. During these years he wrote The Unusual Life of Tristan Smith, Jack Maggs, and True History of the Kelly Gang for which he won his second Booker Prize.

In 2003 he joined Hunter College as the Director of the MFA Program in Creative Writing. In the years since he has written My Life as a Fake, Theft, and His Illegal Self.

He is at work on a new novel.

Prizes:

1979 Miles Franklin Award (Australia) War Crimes
1980 New South Wales Premier's Literary Award War Crimes
1981 Miles Franklin Award (Australia) Bliss
1982 National Book Council Award (Australia) Bliss
1982 New South Wales Premier's Literary Award Bliss
1985 Australian Film Institute (Best Adapted Screenplay) Bliss
1985 Australian Film Institute (Best Film) Bliss
1985 Book Council Award (Australia) Illywhacker
1985 Booker Prize for Fiction (shortlist) Illywhacker
1985 The Age Book of the Year Award Illywhacker
1986 Ditmar Award for Best Australian Science Fiction Novel Illywhacker
1986 Vance Palmer Prize for Fiction Illywhacker
1986 Victorian Premier's Literary Award (Australia) Illywhacker
1986 World Fantasy Award for Best Novel (shortlist) Illywhacker
1988 Book Council Award (Australia) Oscar and Lucinda
1988 Booker Prize for Fiction Oscar and Lucinda
1989 Miles Franklin Award (Australia) Oscar and Lucinda
1994 The Age Book of the Year Award The Unusual Life of Tristran Smith
1997 James Tait Black Memorial Prize (for fiction) (shortlist) Jack Maggs
1997 The Age Book of the Year Award Jack Maggs
1998 Commonwealth Writers Prize (Overall Winner, Best Book) Jack Maggs
1998 Miles Franklin Award (Australia) Jack Maggs
2001 Booker Prize for Fiction True History of the Kelly Gang
2001 Commonwealth Writers Prize (Overall Winner, Best Book) True History of the Kelly Gang
2001 Miles Franklin Award (Australia) (shortlist) True History of the Kelly Gang
2001 Vance Palmer Prize for Fiction True History of the Kelly Gang
2007 Commonwealth Writers Prize (South East Asia and South Pacific
Region, Best Book) (shortlist) Theft: A Love Story

Click here to read a Paris Review interview with Peter Carey.

Visit Peter Carey's Booktopia Author Page


ISBN: 9781741666984
ISBN-10: 1741666988
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 288
Published: July 2007
Publisher: Random House Australia
Dimensions (cm): 19.8 x 12.8  x 2.0
Weight (kg): 0.23