Media Center: ‘First Person’ by Richard Flanagan

Media Center: ‘First Person’ by Richard Flanagan

WHO: Richard Flanagan


WHEN: Published by Knopf April 3, 2018

WHERE: The author lives in Tasmania.

WHY: “This sonorous, blackly comic novel offers searing insight into our times.
“This acerbic exploration of how the contemporary world came to be defined by lies, deceit, and obfuscation is set in Australia just after the recession of 1992. The narrator is Kif Kehlmann, a struggling writer whose wife is about to give birth to twins.
“Through Ray, a childhood friend, Kif is hired to ghostwrite the biography of Siegfried ‘Ziggy’ Heidl, a man who is going to be imprisoned in six weeks for stealing $600-million from banks. Reluctantly, Kif leaves his heavily pregnant wife in Tasmania to work with Ziggy in Melbourne. Ziggy is, at best, a willfully difficult subject, and, in a brilliant satire of the industry, Kif has essentially to invent a version of him on the page to appease the absurd publisher, Gene Palley. As Ziggy starts to intrude on Kif’s sense of self and his life, the reader is left unsure of who or what to believe.
“In a brilliant third act, Flanagan turns his savage mockery to the recent trend of autobiographical fiction, including the celebrated, multivolume My Struggle by Norwegian writer Karl Ove Knausgaard. Full of hilarious asides, this sonorous, blackly comic novel offers searing insight into our times.”
–Alexander Moran, in a starred review for BOOKLIST

Jacket photo

Media Resources:
About the book and author | Read an excerpt | Download the jacket | Download the author photo

Knopf. 351 pages. $26.95 ISBN 978-0-525-52002-3

To interview the author, contact:
Kathy Zuckerman | 212-572-2105 |