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Reimagining Tocqueville

July 14, 2010 | CUNY Lecture Series, Hunter College

In his 11th novel, “Parrot and Oliver in America,” Peter Carey reimagines Alexis de Tocqueville’s “Democracy in America,” and his famous journey to the United States in the 19th century using the dichotomy of a French aristocrat and his servant. ”Being able to write about a French aristocrat was probably helped a little by my early consciousness of class and the ability to survive in different worlds,” said Carey, a two-time winner of the Booker Prize and executive director of the MFA Creative Writing Program at Hunter College. Carey explained how his own experiences as a young boy, coming from the country in Australia and traveling to a fancy boarding school in the large city of Victoria, had influenced his writing. “The culture shock between where I’d been and where I arrived was immense,” said Carey, who spoke and read from his new novel at a Book Talk hosted by Hunter College’s Roosevelt House.
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