Books: Irish Transported

BRING LARKS AND HEROES by Thomas Keneally. 247 pages. Viking. $4.95.

Writers need myths to revert to—simple unrelenting tales to retell. Americans use the old West. The Irish use their centuries of uprising against the English. In just the same way, Australians use those savage prison settlements that first seeded the new land with transported convicts in the late 18th century.

Thomas Keneally, 32, is an Australian with a pronounced Irish accent. He has found the mythic frame for his novel in the love, rebellion and death of an Irish soldier in the garrison of a penal colony that might have been...

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