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Parrot and Olivier in America

Parrot and Olivier in America

When my countrymen imagined America, they thought of savages and bears and presidents who would not wear wigs.  Who among them could have conjured Miss Godefroy in all her beauty of form and elegance of mind, her wit, her delicacy, her slender ankles amid those mad red leaves?

An exploration of the great adventure of American democracy, it thrillingly brings to life two characters who, born on different sides of history, come together to share an extraordinary relationship. Olivier is a French aristocrat, sent to the New World ostensibly to study its prisons, but in reality to save his neck in a future revolution.  Parrot is the son of an itinerant English printer, sent to spy and protect him.  With the narrative shifting between the perspectives of master and servant, we see the adventure of American democracy, in theory and in practice, told with Carey’s dazzling wit and inventiveness.

Parrot and Olivier in America

About the Author

Peter Carey

Peter Carey was born in Australia in May 1943 and is the author of six novels. He won the Booker Prize in 1988 for Oscar and Lucinda (which has since been made into a film starring Ralph Fiennes) and was shortlisted in 1985 with Illywhacker. His other novels include The Unusual Life of Tristan Smith and Jack Maggs (winner of the 1998 Commonwealth Writers Prize). He has also written a collection of short stories, The Fat Man in History, and a book for children, The Big Bazoohley. Peter Carey won The Booker Prize for the second time in 2001 with True History of the Kelly Gang and was nominated for the Man Booker International Prize in 2007 and 2009.