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Australian author Richard Flanagan won 2014 Man Booker Prize

Oct 15, 2014 09:09 IST

Richard FlanaganAustralian author Richard Flanagan on 14 October 2014 won the 50000 pounds Man Booker Prize for his wartime novel The Narrow Road to the Deep North. His name was announced as the winner at London’s Guildhall and was presented the prize by The Duchess of Cornwall.

Flanagan is the third Australian to win the prize after Thomas Keneally and Peter Carey. Thomas Keneally's Schindler's Ark won in 1982 while Peter Carey won for Oscar and Lucinda (1988) and The True History of the Kelly Gang (2001).

This was the first year that the Man Booker prize was open to all authors writing in English, regardless of nationality. With this change in the rules of the prize, some writers had expressed fears that this change would lead to dominance of the US authors.

About The Narrow Road to the Deep North
Flanagan's novel is set during the construction of the Thailand Burma Death Railway in World War Two. It also tells the harrowing stories of prisoners and captors on the Burma railway and revolves around two great themes, namely love and war. The prose of the novel has bridged East and West past and present, with a story of guilt and heroism.

The book narrates story of a Japanese prisoner-of-war camp and centres upon the experiences of surgeon Dorrigo Evans who was haunted by his love affair with his uncle’s young wife two years earlier. The Narrow Road to the Deep North is dedicated to prisoner san byaku san ju go - who was a reference to his father's Japanese prison number, 335.

About Richard Flanagan
• Richard Flanagan’s father was a survivor of Japan’s campaign to build the railway who died on the day when Flanagan emailed his final draft to his publisher
• He has worked as one of the screenwriters on Baz Luhrmann’s film Australia
• The Narrow Road to the Deep North is the sixth novel for Flanagan. His previous novels were Death of a River Guide, The Sound of One Hand Clapping, Gould's Book of Fish, The Unknown Terrorist and Wanting
• He directed a feature film version of The Sound of One Hand Clapping (1998)
• He was born in Tasmania in July 1961

Shortlisted Authors for the year
Shortlisted authors of the Man Booker Prize included two American writers, three British and one Australian and they were Ali Smith, Neel Mukherjee, Howard Jacobson, Karen Joy Fowler, Richard Flanagan and Joshua Ferris.

Author

Title of Novel

Nationality

Joshua Ferris

To Rise Again at a Decent Hour

American

Karen Joy Fowler

We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves

American

Howard Jacobson

J

British

Neel Mukherjee

The Lives of Others

British

Ali Smith

How to be Both

British

Neel Mukherjee was shortlisted for his novel The Lives of Others, a book that narrates the sweeping account of life in 1960s Calcutta.

About Man Booker Prize
The Man Booker Prize for Fiction was formerly known as the Booker-McConnell Prize and commonly known simply as the Booker Prize is a literary prize that is awarded annually for the best original novel, written in the English language.

The 2013 Booker Prize was given to Eleanor Catton for her novel The Luminaries and the first Booker Prize was given in 1969 to PH Newby for his novel, Something to Answer For.

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