Peter Carey: Illywhacker

(4823 words)
  • Ryan Webb (University of East Anglia)
  • The Literary Encyclopedia. Volume 9.1.1: Australian Writing and Culture.

Illywhacker, Peter Carey’s second published novel, is a work of startling narrative scope and ambition. Like Salman Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children, published four years earlier, its approach seems to be heavily influenced by Günter Grass’s The Tin Drum in that it distils decades of national history – in Carey’s case, Australian national history – into the life story of a central character and his family. Unlike these other two novels, however, Illywhacker is neither specifically political or directly allegorical; its depiction of Australian national identity is often murky, being tied up in a number of ambiguous and self-contradictory leitmotifs woven into the meandering first-person narrative …

Please log in to consult the article in its entirety. If you are a member (student of staff) of a subscribing institution (see List), you should be able to access the LE on campus directly (without the need to log in), and off-campus either via the institutional log in we offer, or via your institution's remote access facilities, or by creating a personal user account with your institutional email address. If you are not a member of a subscribing institution, you will need to purchase a personal subscription. For more information on how to subscribe as an individual user, please see under Individual Subcriptions.

Webb, Ryan. "Illywhacker". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 08 September 2004
[, accessed 25 September 2016.]