Publisher's synopsis

True History of the Kelly Gang is Peter Carey’s stunning, Booker Prize-winning novel about Australia’s most famous outlaw.

As he flees the police, Ned Kelly scribbles his narrative in semiliterate but magically descriptive prose. To his pursuers he is a thief and a murderer. To his own people he’s a hero for opposing the English. Ned, who saw his first prison cell at fifteen, has become the most wanted man in the wild colony of Victoria, taking over towns and defying authority. Here is a classic outlaw tale, made alive by the skill of a great novelist. There are no sentences like these in all Australian literature and yet they could only have grown from our soil.


  • Winner 2000 Centre for Australian Cultural Studies Award
  • Winner 2000 Colin Roderick Award, Best Australian Book
  • Winner 2001 Man Booker Prize (UK)
  • Winner 2001 QLD Premier’s Literary Awards, Best Fiction Book
  • Winner 2001 VIC Premier’s Literary Award, The Vance Palmer Prize for Fiction
  • Winner 2001 The Age Book of the Year Award, Fiction Prize
  • Winner 2001 The Age Book of the Year Award, Book of the Year
  • Winner 2001 Commonwealth Writers Prize, South East Asia Region, Best Book for Region Award
  • Winner 2001 Commonwealth Writers Prize, Overall Best Book Award
  • Joint Winner 2001 The Courier–Mail Book of the Year Award
  • Winner 2002 One Book One Brisbane
  • Winner 2002 Festival Awards for Literature (SA), The Premier’s Award
  • Winner 2002 Festival Awards for Literature (SA), Dymocks Booksellers National Fiction Award
  • Winner 2003 Prix du Meilleur Livre Étranger (France)
  • Shortlisted 2000 Booksellers Choice Award
  • Shortlisted 2001 Miles Franklin Award
  • Shortlisted 2002 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award

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