The Great Shame

The Great Shame

And the Triumph of the Irish in the English-Speaking World

By Thomas Keneally; Siobhan Adcock (Editor)

Anchor Books, Paperback, 9780385720267, 768pp.

Publication Date: September 5, 2000


In The Great Shame, Thomas Keneally--the bestselling, Booker Prize-winning author of Schindler's List--combines the authority of a brilliant historian and the narrative grace of a great novelist to present a gripping account of the Irish diaspora.

The nineteenth century saw Ireland lose half of its population to famine, emigration, or deportation to penal colonies in Australia--often for infractions as common as stealing food. Among the victims of this tragedy were Thomas Keneally's own forebearers, and they were his inspiration to tell the story of the Irish who struggled and ultimately triumphed in Australia and North America. Relying on rare primary sources--including personal letters, court transcripts, ship manifests, and military documents--Keneally offers new and important insights into the impact of the Irish in exile. The result is a vivid saga of heroes and villains, from Great Famine protesters to American Civil War generals to great orators and politicians.

About the Author
Thomas Keneally began his writing career in 1964 and has publishedthirty-one novels since. They include "Schindler s List", which won the Booker Prize in 1982, "The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith", "Gossip from the Forest", and "Confederates", " "all of which were shortlisted for the Booker Prize, and the "New York Times"bestselling"The Daughters of Mars". He has also written several works of nonfiction, including his boyhood memoir, "Homebush Boy", " The Commonwealth of Thieves", " "and "Searching for Schindler." He is married with two daughters and lives in Sydney, Australia.

SIOBHAN ADCOCK received her MFA in fiction from Cornell University, and her short fiction has appeared in several literary magazines. She has worked as a writer and editor for Epicurious,,, and The Knowm among other digital publishers. She lives with her family in Brooklyn, New York.

Praise For The Great Shame

"An epic tale of courage and ingenuity." --The New York Times Book Review

"Intensely researched, passionately narrated. . . . Fascinating stories."                 --Chicago Tribune

"The Great Shame . . . is a brave work whose narrative threads connect the personal, the political and the historical, leaving us with vivid impressions of 'Irish ghosts' in both triumph and tragedy." --Los Angeles Times

"Exciting reading. [Keneally] is a master of narrative pace."-Thomas Flanagan, The San Francisco Chronicle Book Review

"In the style of the best historians, [Keneally] allows the intrinsic power of the tales he tells and the people who populate his pages to draw the reader into a fully elaborated universe." --The New York Times