by Julie HaleJanuary, 2005
My Life as a Fake
The best-selling author of True History of the Kelly Gang returns with a multilayered tale set in the Far East. Sarah Wode-Douglas is the editor of a London poetry journal. She is well acquainted with John Slater, a famous writer and family friend whom she believes contributed to her mother's death. Although she is suspicious of Slater, Sarah agrees to accompany him when he invites her on a tour of Malaysia. There, she becomes hopelessly embroiled in a mystery that will consume her for the rest of her life. In Kuala Lumpur, she meets Slater's friend Christopher Chubb, an eccentric Australian who orchestrated a famous literary hoax in the 1940s, when he fabricated a poet named Bob McCorkle and managed to get some of his work published. A scandal ensued, resulting in a lawsuit and a murder, as Sarah discovers. What's more, McCorkle seems to have taken on a life of his own. When Chubb tips her off to a manuscript of McCorkle's poetry, Sarah is soon obsessed with obtaining it and revealing his work to the public. Mixing mystery and romance, blurring the line between truth and reality, teasing the reader with complex plot twists, Carey has created a sensuous, atmospheric, richly detailed novel that echoes the work of Graham Greene and Joseph Conrad. A reading group guide is available online at www.readingroupcenter.com.