From the New York Times bestselling author of such classics as The Daughters of Mars, Crimes of the Father, and Schindler's List comes a work of historical fiction mastery in which an English lieutenant must stage a play starring the prisoners of the Australian penal colony he supervises.
Lieutenant Ralph Clark has received the most bizarre of commissions. In honor of the king's birthday, Clark is charged with staging a production of the George Farquhar comedy The Recruiting Officer. What's more, as Clark supervises the penal colony of Sydney Cove, Australia at the very end of the late-nineteenth-century British Empire's rule, he must use his prisoners as the cast and production crew. Based on the lieutenant’s real diaries, The Playmaker is a work of true genius by one of the most notable names in historical fiction.
Thomas Keneally began his writing career in 1964 and has published thirty-three novels since, most recently Crimes of the Father, Napoleon’s Last Island, Shame and the Captives, and the New York Times bestselling The Daughters of Mars. He is also the author of Schindler’s List, which won the Booker Prize in 1982, The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith, Gossip from the Forest, and Confederates, all of which were shortlisted for the Booker Prize. He has also written several works of nonfiction, including his boyhood memoir Homebush Boy, The Commonwealth of Thieves, and Searching for Schindler. He is married with two daughters and lives in Sydney, Australia.