Thomas Keneally began his writing career in 1964 and has published thirty novels since. They include Schindler's Ark, which won the Booker Prize in 1982 and was subsequently made into the film Schindler's List, and The Chant Of Jimmie Blacksmith, Confederates and Gossip From The Forest, each of which was shortlisted for the Booker Prize. His most recent novels are The Daughters Of Mars, which was shortlisted for the Walter Scott Prize in 2013, and Shame and the Captives. He has also written several works of non-fiction, including his memoir Homebush Boy, Searching for Schindler and Australians. He is married with two daughters and lives in Sydney.
Writing Napoleon's Last Island from Betsy's perspective allows Keneally to entertain readers with his trademark verve and impishness. Few can match him as a storyteller * Meredith Jaffe, Guardian (Australia) * He succeeds, with touches of brilliance, in bringing to life characters in more detail than history ever possibly could * Philip Dwyer, Sydney Morning Herald * One of the most enjoyable, high spirited and technically accomplished works of a long career. * The Australian * A typically polished yarn by a grand master of historical fiction. -- Max Davidson * Mail on Sunday * Through Betsy, Keneally beautifully resurrects a voice of the sort lost in official versions of history -- Claire Allfree * Daily Mail * Immersive and charming . . . Keneally's Betsy is a vivid, attractive portrait of a young girl brinking on young womanhood and a thoroughly useful device. Through her he can view the emperor clearly - as an absurd figure, a joker, a voracious devourer of food, women, information. But there is so much more here, too. The flora and geography of the island are beautifully evoked, the inhabitants drawn in sharp, succinct strokes . . . a pure pleasure to read. -- Nick Curtis * Evening Standard * The outspoken Betsy is a terrific character . . . [There are] some glorious moments . . . lit with Keneally's trademark impish humour. He is a magpie, as preternaturally inquisitive as Napoleon himself, and the book has a cast of characters to rival Dickens. -- Clare Clark * Guardian *