Peter Carey was born in 1943 in Bacchus Marsh, South Australia. He was educated at Geelong Grammar School, ‘where the children of Australia’s Best Families all spoke with English accents’, and then at Timbertop. He spent a year failing science at Monash University, before going to work in advertising, which intermittently he still does. In the late Sixties he moved to London for a couple of years – a period reflected in the story ‘Peeling’ set near the Portobello Road. For a while he lived in rain forest country near Yandina, Queensland, but has now returned to Sydney.
Peter Carey first came to the attention of British readers with the publication in 1980 of The Fat Man in History, a collection of mostly futuristic short stories, which won immediate recognition as the emergence of a remarkable talent: ‘His view of things is totally original, his eyesight alters the world’, said Isabel Quigley in the Financial Times.