(Illustration by Chris Somerville)
In the middle of 2010, a Twitter account named @PetarCarey appeared. Its bio read “My Life As A Fake”. People followed the account’s updates with reckless abandon. Peter Carey is a famous Australian writer who now lives in New York. Twitter is a great place for artistic experimentation. The law is the law. For a while the publishing company Penguin got into a bit of a tizzy about all of the tweets. People laughed; parody and satire are defences against boringness. Hunter College, a boutique university located in bustling Manhattan, began following @PetarCarey’s tweets. Not long after the original account was shut down by Twitter. Shortly afterwards @ZombieCarey emerged. Writing is writing.
31 Jul 10 Petar Carey @petarcarey Melbourne will get wiped out by a tidal wave from Antarctica. Prediction. Australians will stop reading.
31 Jul 10 Petar Carey @petarcarey Tsiolkas is about as controversial as store bought tzatziki
2 Aug 10 Petar Carey @petarcarey spent Saturday night scraping fish scales off the soles of my $440 shoes near Pyrmont. So Sydney!
2 Aug 10 Petar Carey @petarcarey the kidsTM are telling me to read Brett Easton Ellis but I nearly died in ’88 when reading another brat packer. Guess who and how!
2 Aug 10 Petar Carey @petarcarey Chapter One of my untitled misery memoir is titled “Melbourne Misery”. GracieTM told me she didn’t read but liked the sound of it.
5 Aug 10 Petar Carey @petarcarey Had a “NY Style” bagel in Balmain. Tasted like a Vietnamese baguette. Whatta town!
20 Dec Petar Carey @petarcarey I spent the last year in New York, putting in development proposals for “Little Sydney” - all knocked back, some with spit on them.
27 Mar Petar Carey @petarcarey Calling my publicist. I can’t remember if I included a scene set in Australia in the latest book, as per the contract.
27 Mar Petar Carey @petarcarey Publicist is telling me that I forgot to include a scene set in Australia in Chemicals of Forgotten Tears or whatever it’s called.
28 Mar Petar Carey @petarcarey WHAT THE FUCK? Why wasn’t Chemical of Tears or whatever it’s called long-listed for the Miles Franklin?
28 Mar Petar Carey @petarcarey I spent two months writing Chemistry of Crying or whatever it’s called. The least you think they could do would be to long-long list it.
28 Mar Petar Carey @petarcarey In New York asking if anyone has heard of the Miles Franklin award. My publicist: “Shouldn’t it be called the Kilometers Franklin?”
28 Mar Petar Carey @petarcarey My new novel is a retelling of the Lindy Chamberlain story told from the perspective of the dingo.
28 Mar Petar Carey @petarcarey Do dingos eat dog food? Wondering if I should try eating some to get into character. It would be great to try some baby meat too.
28 Mar Petar Carey @petarcarey I just bought a dingo off eBay. Not happy with the steep postage costs, but hopefully will ensure it is alive when it arrives.
28 Mar Petar Carey @petarcarey PETA have read my tweets and are threatening to stop my dingo shipment at Coney Island! This detail goes straight into the novel!
28 Mar Petar Carey @petarcarey Looking for a maid in New York with experience in cleaning up after dingos in lofts.
29 Mar Petar Carey @petarcarey NYU Creative Writing students didn’t like the smell of dingo that was wafting off me during my lecture “The Olfaction of Your Characters”.
29 Mar Petar Carey @petarcarey Had lunch with failed movie actor James Franco today. Discussed his PhD and he seemed interested in my dingo book.
29 Mar Petar Carey @petarcarey Shocking news! Took the dingo to the vet: “It’s just a kelpie covered in cheap gold spray paint, I’m afraid”.
29 Mar Petar Carey @petarcarey Fake dingo has eaten and run off with my manuscript! “Fake dingo’s got my baby!”
29 Mar Petar Carey @petarcarey Hanging out in Williamsburg with the handsome lads from Tame Impala, talking second album and thirteenth novel syndromes.
29 Mar Petar Carey @petarcarey Post-coffee, sitting down to write my Nobel Peace Prize winning novel… “There was no need for wars. It was good and bad this non-need.”
30 Mar Petar Carey @petarcarey WHAT THE FUCK! Where is my Sydney Writers’ Festival invitation! I may be busy colonising New York, but still!!!
30 Mar Petar Carey @petarcarey I mean, if I had have been asked to attend the Sydney Writers’ Festival I would have said NO, FUCK OFF. But not being invited is insulting.
30 Mar Petar Carey @petarcarey Loving these shameless Australian authors who never escaped Australia flaming up their Twitters with Sydney Writers’ Festival excitement.
30 Mar Petar Carey @petarcarey Don Draper is based on me.
30 Mar Petar Carey @petarcarey I hope you all realise that Mad Men is anachronistic take on my time Grey’s Advertising Agency in the 80s.
30 Mar Petar Carey @petarcarey Hello inferior mid-list Australian authors who overshare on Twitter, thanks for the non-stop snubbing on Follow Friday!
31 Mar Petar Carey @petarcarey Dumping the dingo novel to write something I was born to write about: mid-Western middle American families!
31 Mar Petar Carey @petarcarey Planning my posthumous releases now. Some good stuff that I don’t mind not being around to be complimented on.
31 Mar Petar Carey @petarcarey They should have called him Patrick White-Out, and he should have used it on every word in The Hanging Garbage.
31 Mar Petar Carey @petarcarey New project: I have decided to write the first major biography of Phil Jamieson from Grinspoon.
1 Apr Petar Carey @petarcarey Packing the shovel and driving out to Patrick White’s grave. I’m out of material, and I heard he was buried with a couple of manuscripts.
1 Apr Petar Carey @petarcarey Shooing off David Marr with my shovel at Patrick White’s grave.
2 Apr Petar Carey @petarcarey The internet makes terrible writers terribler.
2 Apr Petar Carey @petarcarey I love eating shellfish at my desk, because cracking open imported blue swimmer crab is the exact same sound as an idea dying.
To read the rest of @PetarCarey’s tweets, grab a copy of our latest issue.