Thomas Keneally was born in Sydney, Australia, in 1935. He completed his schooling at various schools on the New South Wales north coast before commencing theological studies for the Catholic priesthood. He abandoned this vocation in 1960 and turned to clerical work and teaching before publishing his first novel in 1964. Keneally has been shortlisted for the Booker Prize on four occasions and has won once. Thomas Keneally was awarded the Order of Australia in 1983 for his services to Australian Literature. He lives in Sydney.