«No other author draws us into "the strange, terrible neverendingness of human beings" the way Flanagan does» (Ron Charles, "Washington Post"). Born in Tasmania in 1961, where he lives and works, Flanagan gains a remarkable consideration among the anglo-novelists of his generation after the publication of "Death of a River Guide" (1994). The novel is the tale of Aljaz Cosini, a river guide who lies drowning, reliving his life and the lives of his family and forebears. It was described by "The Times Literary Supplement" as «one of the most auspicious debuts in Australian writing». Flanagan's qualities as a narrator came clearly into view also in previous books such as "The Sound of One Hand Clapping" (1997) – a major bestseller which sold more than 150,000 copies in Australia alone – and "Gould's Book of Fish" (2001), based on the life of the activist William Buelow Gould and his love affair with a young black woman in 1828. In 2003 the book won the Commonwealth Writers' Prize. Flanagan has described these early novels as «soul histories». His fourth novel was "The Unknown Terrorist" (2006), a brilliant meditation upon the post-9/11 world, while his fifth novel, "Wanting" (2008) tells two parallel stories: about the novelist Charles Dickens in England, and Mathinna, an Aboriginal orphan adopted by Sir John Franklin, the colonial governor of Van Diemen's Land, and his wife, Lady Jane Franklin. His most recent work, "The Narrow Road to the Deep North" (2013), won the 2014 Man Booker Prize.
(photo: © Colin Macdougall)