Thomas Keneally

Author of the Book Schindlers List- Thomas Keneally


Online interview

Thomas Keneally shared a few insights from the book. He stated “When people say, “Your book got my parents talking” or “my grandparents talking”, you feel quite abashed because you knew that this was a publishable book. That’s why you wrote it. I mean the fact that it was about a man who had hated all these people. This very man was a peacetime scoundrel, and indeed a wartime scoundrel.

That was very interesting and that’s why I wrote the book. It’s not my best book but it’s probably my most famous. And the question is do you go for more identifiable direct fiction or do you go for this factual or documentary novel approach? A novel in which everything is as real as you can conscientiously make it in which things are not fiction. And I chose that path as the right path.

Keneallys goals of the book were to use the texture and devices of a novel to tell a true story, both because the novelist’s craft is the only one I can lay claim to, and because the novel’s techniques seem suited for a character of such ambiguity and magnitude as Oskar. I have attempted, however, to avoid all fiction, since fiction would debase the record, and to distinguish between reality and the myths which are likely to attach themselves to a man of Oskar’s stature. It has sometimes been necessary to make reasonable constructs of conversations, and all events, are based on the detailed recollections of the Schindlerjuden (Schindler Jews), of Schindler himself, and of other witnesses to Oskar’s act of outrageous rescue.


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