About Shame and the Captives
In the spirit of Daughters of Mars, Shame and the Captives explores the intimacies of ordinary lives being played out against momentous world events.
In Gawell, New South Wales, a prisoner-of-war camp to house European, Korean and Japanese captives is built close to a farming community. Alice is a young woman living a dull life with her father-in-law on his farm while her new husband first fights, then is taken prisoner, in Greece. When Giancarlo, an Italian POW and anarchist from Gawell’s camp, is assigned to work on their farm, Alice’s view of the world and her self-knowledge are dramatically expanded.
But what most challenges Alice and the town is the foreignness of the Japanese compound and its culture, entirely perplexing to the inmates’ captors. Driven by a desperate need to validate the funerals already held for them in Japan, the prisoners vote to take part in an outbreak, and the bloodshed and chaos this precipitates shatter the certainties and safeties of all who inhabit the region.
Will keeping the Japanese, Korean and Italian POWs of the Second World War alive in Australia keep Australian POWs alive and well, wherever they are?
About Tom Keneally
Thomas Keneally is one of Australia’s best known and most respected authors, writing both fiction and non-fiction.
Born in 1935, he won the Booker Prize in 1982 with Schindler’s Ark, later made into the Academy Award-winning film Schindler’s List by Steven Spielberg.
Tom Keneally has the won the Miles Franklin Award, the Booker Prize, the Los Angeles Book Prize, the Royal Society of Literature Prize, the Scripter Award of the University of Southern California, the Mondello International Prize and the Helmerich Prize. He lives in Sydney with his wife, and is Number 1 ticket-holder of the Manly-Warringah Rugby League team.
His novel Daughters of Mars, which follows two Australian nurses through the First World War, has received critical acclaim. It won the Colin Roderick Award 2013, was shortlisted for the the Christina Stead Prize for Fiction in the New South Wales Premier’s Literary Awards, and the Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction in the UK and longlisted for the Miles Franklin Literary Award. Tom is researching and writing the third volume of his history, Australians.