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Thomas Keneally

Kirsty Young's castaway is writer Thomas Keneally.

Kirsty Young's castaway this week is the writer Thomas Keneally. He had already been nominated for the Booker Prize three times when he published a historical novel that many said should not have been eligible for the contest. It told the story of one man, Oskar Schindler, who risked his life and lost his fortune to save more than a thousand Jews. Schindler's Ark not only won the prize, it has been the best-selling Booker winner ever and went on to be made into the Oscar-winning film Schindler's List.

Religion and war have been themes through much of his work and indeed his own life. His father's absence during World War II helped to create a serious-minded child who went on to train for the priesthood. But just weeks before his ordination he quit the church, picked up his pen and started writing.

[Taken from the original programme material for this archive edition of Desert Island Discs]

Favourite track: Herz und Mund und Tat Und Leben- Heart & Mind & Deed & Life by Johann Sebastian Bach
Book: Collected Plays by George Bernard Shaw
Luxury: Can of Beluga caviar, spoon and tin opener.

Available now

45 minutes

Last on

Fri 27 Jul 2007 09:00

Music Played

  • George Frideric Handel

    Lascia ch'io pianga (from Rinaldo)

    • Farinelli: Il Castrato Soundtrack.
    • Travelling.
  • The Pogues

    Fairytale Of New York (feat. Kirsty MacColl)

    • If I Should Fall from Grace with God.
    • Pogue Mahone.
  • Castaway's Favourite

    • Johann Sebastian Bach

      Cantata No. 147: Herz und mund und Tat und Leben

      • Bach: Cantatas Nos, 147, 80.
      • Oiseau Lyre.
  • Joseph Canteloube

    Bäilèro (from Songs of the Auvergne)

    • Canteloube: Songs of the Auvergne.
    • Decca.
  • The Bushwackers

    Lachlan Tigers

    • Beneath the Southern Cross.
    • CBS.
  • The Chieftains

    Red is the Rose (with Nanci Griffith)

    • An Irish Evening (live at the Grand Opera House, Belfast).
    • RCA.
  • John Williams

    Theme from Schindler's List

    • Schindler’s List: Soundtrack.
    • MCA.
  • Shaun Davey

    The Parting Glass from the Soundtrack to Waking Ned

    • Waking Ned soundtrack.
    • Decca.
  • Book Choice

    • Collected Plays - George Bernard Shaw

  • Luxury Choice

    • Can of Beluga caviar, spoon and tin opener


Role Contributor
Presenter Kirsty Young
Interviewed Guest Thomas Keneally


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