Richard Flanagan, born in Tasmania in 1961, has given a voice to Tasmania in contemporary fiction. A Rhodes scholar, he has worked as a labourer and river guide, and all of these experiences can be found in his novels.
His books have been published to critical acclaim in both Australia and overseas. A winner of the Commonwealth Writers Prize in 2002 for Gould's Book of Fish', and he made the shortlist for his 2009 novel Wanting. However in 2003, as a passionate supporter of Tasmanian forests, he shunned the Tasmania Pacific Region Prize, when he found it was co-sponsored by Tasmania's Forestry Commission.
Richard Flanagan lives in Tasmania, where he was born in Longford in 1961.
- Death of a river guide
- Gould's book of fish
- The Narrow Road to the deep north [Winner of the 2014 Man Booker Prize]
- The Sound of one hand clapping
- The Unknown terrorist
- And what do you do, Mr Gable? New and collected essays. First published in 2011 with this new edition released in 2015. It includes his famous essay on woodchipping in Tasmania, and his closing address at the 2014 Perth Writers' Festival On love stories and Reza Baratti.
- The Australian disease: on the decline of love and the rise of non-freedom. 'The Australian Disease' was originally presented as Liberty Victoria's Alan Missen Oration, doubling as the Closing Address of the 2011 Melbourne Writers' Festival. From the Black Inc "Short Blacks": classic shots of Australian writing.
Criticism and interpretation:
- Richard Flanagan: critical essays edited by Robert Dixon [From the Sydney Studies in Australian literature series]
- Flanagan, Richard, 2007, 'Out of control: the tragedy of Tasmania's forests', The Monthly, Issue 23, May 2007, pg 20-31.
In May 2007 at the height of conflict over the building of a pulp mill in the Tamar Valley, near Launceston Tasmania, Richard Flanagan published an article in The Monthly. In 'Out of control: the Tragedy of Tasmania's Forests' he writes passionately about 'the forests [that] are being destroyed in Tasmania, in spite of widespread community opposition and increasing international concern''.
- Flanagan, Richard, 2014, 'On love stories and Reza Barati', In And what do you do Mr.Gable? New and collected essays, Vintage, North Sydney, N.S.W., pp. 332-363. This is Richard Flanagan' celebrated closing address from the Perth Writers Festival, 2011.
Audio Visual resources
From the Library's collections:
Imagine: Life after death: Richard Flanagan journeys with Presenter, Alan Yentob through his native Tasmania, visiting the places that have inspired his novels, and on to Thailand, to see first-hand the site of the Death Railway. O
From The Wheeler Centre:
- eLibrary - General author/title search
Death of a river guide
- Reese, Jennifer, 2001, As I lay drowning, The New York Times, April
- Badami, Sunil, 2017, 'Flanagan goes one better with a web of fiction', The Weekend Australian Review, October 7-8.
Gould's book of fish
- Banville, John, 2002, 'On fatal shore' The New York Review of Books, September
- Clark, Alex, 2002, 'In the hands of madmen', The Guardian, June.
The Narrow Road to the Deep North
- Cartwright, Justin, 2015, 'The Narrow road to the deep north - beauty, bathos, and brilliance in equal measure', The Guardian, April.
- Charles, Ron, 2014, 'The Narrow road to the deep north', The Washington Post, August.
- Gorra, Michael, 2014, 'Bridge to nowhere' The New York Times: Sunday Book Review
The Sound of one hand clapping
- Sonenberg, Nina, 2000, 'The Sound of one clapping' The New York Times, April
The Unknown terrorist
- Conrad, Peter, 2007, 'Days of thunder erupt down under' in The Guardian, April
- Charles, Ron, 2009, 'Ron Charles on 'Wanting,' by Richard Flanagan', The Washington Post, May
- Foden, Giles, 2009, Wanting, The Guardian, September
And what do you do Mr. Gable? New and collected essays (2015)
- May, Luke, 2011, 'And What do you do, Mr. Gable?' Readings, September
- Kelleway, Kate, 2002, 'Hook, line and thinker', The Guardian, June.
- Romei, Stephen, 2017, 'Sting in the tale: Richard Flanagan crosses the lines between private and public selves in his new book', The Australian, September 29.
- Sales, Leigh, 2017, 'Richard Flanagan on his new novel First Person', ABC 7:30 Report, September 26. [7:37]
The Narrow Road to the Deep North
- Interview with Michael Williams, from The Guardian Australia on the release of The Narrow Road to the Deep North
- Richard Flanagan in conversation with Richard Fidler. Richard Flanagan tells the story behind his Man Booker prize-winning novel. ABC Local. Conversations with Richard Fidler. Audio download (50:28) 14th October, 2014.
- Radio National's RN Books and Arts Daily. Richard Flanagan: The Narrow Road to the Deep North - Audio download (48:15) 18th October, 2013.
- Richard Flanagan: The Narrow Road to the Deep North. Interviewed by Ramona Koval - Wheeler Centre (57:28) 26th September 2013
- What led you to write WANTING?
- Who are the main characters in WANTING?
- What would you consider to be the themes of WANTING?
- How are the lives of Charles Dickens and Mathinna connected?
- There are fictional and historical characters in the story. How much licence did you take with the facts?
- How different was it writing the script for Baz Luhrmanns
- The Flanagan effect: Tasmanian literature in the spotlight. 2015. The Conversation
- Hay, Pete, 2014, 'Liberating the spirit of our island: Richard Flanagan takes Tasmania out into the world', The Mercury, October
- 'Richard Flanagan on the authors right to speak', 2009, Radio National: The Books Show. Audio [14:30]
- Richard Flanagan on The Narrow Road to the Deep North. Richard Flanagan talks about the question of good and evil raised in this book.
The Inaugural Boisbouvier Lecture, Melbourne Writers Festival, 2016
- 'Does Writing Matter?, The Monthly, 2016
The Man Booker Prize, 2014
- The Narrow Road to the Deep North - Winner of the Man Booker Prize, 2014.
- Brown, Mark, Man Booker Prize: Richard Flanagan wins 'with a timeless depiction of war', The Guardian 15 October 2014.
- Richard Flanagan shortlisted for the 2014 Man Booker prize. ABC News, 10 September 2014
- Romei, Stephen, Author Richard Flanagan leads the charge for Australia, 10 September 2014.
Richard Flanagan's novel First Person is based on his own experience when he was asked to ghost write a book about the fraudster and conman John Friedrich (1950-1991).
- You can read more about John Friedrich in an entry by Frank Bongiorno in the Australian Dictionary of Biography.