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Peter Carey on Cultural Amnesia

Peter Carey StampsThe day after Peter Carey was asked to ghostwrite the autobiography of Julian Assange, he started to write a novel instead. Someone else’s memoir, he says, would have been out of his skill set — “the novelist, of course, wants to be totally in control” — but he was nonetheless inspired by the Wikileaks founder, his fellow Australian. “Americans were saying that he was a ‘traitor.’ I was appalled by the imperial hubris and ignorance, and I was thinking, ‘Guys, be careful what you sow.’ ”

His novel, Amnesia, published this month by Random House, is about a journalist enlisted to tell the tale of an Aussie hacker, Gabrielle Bailleux, whose code worms its way into computers worldwide and opens the doors of American prisons. The narrative reaches back to 1975, the year of Gabrielle’s birth, when the CIA infiltrated Australian politics and engineered the fall of the Labour government. This last event, Carey says, occurred in real life.

Story continues at The National Post


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