Author(s): Tom Keneally
In 1980 Tom Keneally was in Beverley Hills returning from the Sorrento film festival where The Chant of Jimmy Blacksmith had been showing. Looking for a new briefcase, Tom meets the Polish-Jewish Leopold Pfefferberg Page aka Poldek and his life for the next few years is taken over by this charismatic and driven man and the story he wants shared. The story is of course that of "the all-drinking, all-screwing, all black-marketeering Nazi. But to me he was Jesus Christ, Oskar Schindler". And Poldek shared with Tom the story of Schindler's Ark which went on to win the Booker Prize and ultimately to become the Oscar award-winning film Schindler's List. Schindler, the ruined Catholic hedonist, had something ambiguous about him that appealled to the ex-seminarian Tom Keneally who still struggled with his own Catholicism and his humanist view of the world. Searching for Schindler is very much Tom's journey, he reflects on his early days as a writer with quite a bit of success and how this book, the people he met, and the film it became, changed his life.
THOMAS KENEALLY won the Booker Prize in 1982 with SCHINDLER'S ARK, later made into the Academy Award-winning film SCHINDLER'S LIST by Steven Spielberg. He has written eleven works of non-fiction, including THREE FAMINES and his recent memoir SEARCHING FOR SCHINDLER, and the histories THE COMMONWEALTH OF THIEVES, THE GREAT SHAME and AMERICAN SCOUNDREL, and 29 works of fiction, including THE PEOPLE'S TRAIN, THE WIDOW AND HER HERO (both shortlisted for the Prime Minister's Literary Award), AN ANGEL IN AUSTRALIA and BETTANY'S BOOK. His novels THE CHANT OF JIMMY BLACKSMITH, GOSSIP FROM THE FOREST, and CONFEDERATES were all shortlisted for the Booker Prize, while BRING LARKS AND HEROES and THREE CHEERS FOR THE PARACLETE won the Miles Franklin Award. His most recent novel THE PEOPLE'S TRAIN was longlisted for the Miles Franklin Award and shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers Prize, South East Asia division.