Media Center: Richard Flanagan Wins Man Booker Prize
WHO: Richard Flanagan
WHAT: Wins 2014 Man Book Prize
for his novel THE NARROW ROAD TO THE DEEP NORTH
WHEN: October 14, 2014
WHERE: Announced in London.
WHY: “Epic…a powerful novel.”
AUGUST, 1943. In the despair of a Japanese POW camp on the Thai-Burma Death Railway, Australian surgeon Dorrigo Evans is haunted by his affair with his uncle’s young wife two years earlier. His life is a daily struggle to save the men under his command from starvation, from cholera, from pitiless beatings. Until he receives a letter that will change him forever.
Moving deftly from the POW camp to contemporary Australia, from the experiences of Dorrigo and his comrades to those of the Japanese guards, this savagely beautiful novel tells a story of love, death, and family, exploring the many forms of good and evil, war and truth, guilt and transcendence, as one man comes of age, prospers, only to discover all that he has lost.
From the beginning of the book: Why at the beginning of things is there always light? Dorrigo Evans’ earliest memories were of sun flooding a church hall in which he sat with his mother and grandmother. A wooden church hall. Blinding light and him toddling back and forth, in and out of its transcendent welcome, into the arms of women. Women who loved him. Like entering the sea and returning to the beach. Over and over. Bless you, his mother says as she holds him and lets him go. Bless you, boy. That must have been 1915 or 1916. He would have been one or two.
Richard Flanagan is the author of five previous novels — Death of a River Guide, The Sound of One Hand Clapping, Gould’s Book of Fish, The Unknown Terrorist, and Wanting — which have received numerous honors and have been published in twenty-six countries. He lives in Tasmania.
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