Over the course of his stellar writing life, Peter Carey has explored his homeland of Australia in such highly acclaimed novels as Oscar and Lucinda, True History of the Kelly Gang and Amnesia. Writing at the peak of his powers, Carey takes us on an unforgettable journey that maps his homeland’s secrets in this extraordinary new novel.
Wildly inventive, funny and profoundly moving, A Long Way from Home opens in 1953 with the arrival of the tiny, handsome Titch Bobs, his beautiful doll of a wife, Irene, and their two children in the small town of Bacchus Marsh. Titch is the best car salesman in southeastern Australia. Irene loves her husband, and loves to drive fast. Together they enter the Redex Trial, a brutal endurance race around the ancient continent, over roads no car is designed to survive. With them is their neighbour and navigator, Willie Bachhuber, a quiz show champion and failed school teacher who calls the turns and creek crossings on a map that will lead them, without warning, away from the white Australia they all know so well. Just like the novel, Peter Carey’s new masterpiece, begins in one way and takes you somewhere you never thought you’d be. Often funny, the book is also and always a page-turner, surprising you with history these characters never even knew themselves. Its profound reckoning with Australia’s brutal treatment of the continent’s aboriginal people will also resonate strongly with Canadian readers.