Hay Player

Peter Carey talks to Martha Kearney

Talking Books

Hay Festival 2016, 

A conversation with the Australian novelist who has won the Booker Prize twice – with Oscar and Lucinda in 1988 and True History of the Kelly Gang in 2001.

His latest novel is Amnesia: A Novel. When Gaby Baillieux, a young woman from suburban Melbourne, releases the Angel Worm into the computers of Australia’s prison system, hundreds of asylum-seekers walk free. Worse: the system is run by an American corporation, so some 5,000 US prisons are also infected. Doors spring open. Both countries’ secrets threaten to pour out. Was this intrusion a mistake, or has Gaby declared cyberwar on the US?

Felix Moore – known to himself as “Australia’s last serving left-wing journalist”– has no doubt. Gaby’s act was part of the covert conflict between Australia and America that dates back decades. While she goes to ground, Felix begins his pursuit of her in order to write her story; to save her, and himself, and maybe his country. 

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Peter Carey talks to Martha Kearney