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His Illegal Self
by Peter Carey

Overview - Seven-year-old Che Selkirk was raised in isolated privilege by his New York grandmother. The son of radical student activists at Harvard in the late sixties, Che has grown up with the hope that one day his parents will come back for him. So when a woman arrives at his front door and whisks him away to the jungles of Queensland, he is confronted with the most important questions of his life: Who is his real mother?  Read more...

 
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More About His Illegal Self by Peter Carey
 
 
 
Overview
Seven-year-old Che Selkirk was raised in isolated privilege by his New York grandmother. The son of radical student activists at Harvard in the late sixties, Che has grown up with the hope that one day his parents will come back for him. So when a woman arrives at his front door and whisks him away to the jungles of Queensland, he is confronted with the most important questions of his life: Who is his real mother? Did he know his real father? And if all he suspects is true, what should he do? In this artful tale of a young boy's journey, His Illegal Self""lifts your spirit in the most unexpected way.

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9780307276490
  • ISBN-10: 030727649X
  • Publisher: Vintage Books USA
  • Publish Date: February 2009
  • Page Count: 271

Series: Vintage International

Related Categories

Books > Fiction > Literary

 
BookPage Reviews

His Illegal Self

The latest novel from the Booker Prize-winning author is another rousing tale of discovery that takes the rough landscape of Australia as its primary backdrop. The narrative opens in New York City, where seven-year-old Che Selkirk lives with his American grandmother. Che's parents, free-spirited radicals at Harvard during the 1960s, have been absent since he was a toddler, but he hopes they'll return one day. When a strange young woman named Dial comes to Che's apartment unexpectedly, he's convinced she is his mother. The two soon hit the road, and Che's disappearance from the city makes the news. Meanwhile, Dial, who is actually an escort designated to take Che to see his mother, doesn't have the heart to tell him the truth. Eventually, the two end up in a commune in Australia—a crude encampment with no running water populated by a group of feuding hippies. Well out of his element, Che is forced to find his way in unfamiliar surroundings. With the preternatural intelligence and spunk that only small children possess, he succeeds in doing so, coming to grips with his identity along the way. Carey writes with amazing authenticity from the perspective of Che, and the conclusion he has cooked up for this beautifully rendered adventure story is sure to knock readers for a loop.

A reading group guide is available online at readinggroupcenter.com.

 
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