The Dickens Boy
By Thomas Keneally
The award-winning author of modern classics such as Schindler’s List and Napoleon’s Last Island is at his triumphant best with this “engrossing and transporting” (Financial Times) novel about the adventures of Charles Dickens’s son in the Australian Outback during the 1860s.
Edward Dickens, the tenth child of England’s most famous author Charles Dickens, has consistently let his parents down. Unable to apply himself at school and adrift in life, the teenaged boy is sent to Australia in the hopes that he can make something of himself—or at least fail out of the public eye.
He soon finds himself in the remote Outback, surrounded by Aboriginals, colonials, ex-convicts, ex-soldiers, and very few women. Determined to prove to his parents and more importantly, himself, that he can succeed in this vast and unfamiliar wilderness, Edward works hard at his new life amidst various livestock, bushrangers, shifty stock agents, and frontier battles.
By reimagining the tale of a fascinating yet little-known figure in history, this “roguishly tender coming-of-age story” (Booklist) offers penetrating insights into Colonialism and the fate of Australia’s indigenous people, and a wonderfully intimate portrait of Charles Dickens, as seen through the eyes of his son.
Publisher: Atria Books (March 8, 2022) | 416 pages | 9781982169145