at Athenaeum Theatre

Richard Flanagan

President Barack Obama is reading it. Thomas Keneally loved it.

New York Times reviewer Michiko Kakutani called it ‘an excruciating, terrifying, life-altering story that is an indelible fictional testament to the prisoners there’. And the literary editor of the Washington Post says, ‘Nothing since Cormac McCarthy’s The Road has shaken me like this … This is a classic work of war fiction from a world-class writer.’

Richard Flanagan made world headlines when he won the Man Booker Prize for his intensely personal novel The Narrow Road to the Deep North this year.

This acclaimed masterpiece – in a career studded with highlights – is inspired by the experiences of Flanagan’s father as a prisoner of war on the Thai-Burma railway, the stories the author grew up with. It intersperses the gruelling experience of war, in all its horror and human endurance, with a passionate love story that spans a lifetime.

In the first big interview with Richard Flanagan since he won the Man Booker, he’ll sit down with Wheeler Centre director Michael Williams to talk about the novel, his long literary career, and his many passions.

This is an exclusive event with one of Australia’s most successful writing talents, straight from his greatest career triumph – delving deep into the book he’s always wanted to write. An opportunity you won’t want to miss.

(Photo: Ulf Anderson.)


Portrait of Richard Flanagan

Richard Flanagan

Richard Flanagan's novels have received numerous honours and are published in forty-two countries. He won the Booker Prize for The Narrow Road to the Deep North and the Commonwealth Prize for Gould’s Book of Fish. A rapid on the Franklin River is named after him.

Portrait of Michael Williams

Michael Williams

Michael Williams is the Director of the Wheeler Centre for Books, Writing and Ideas in Melbourne. He has worked at the Wheeler Centre since inception in 2009, when he was hired as the Head of Programming before being appointed as Director in September 2011.

He has hosted Blueprint for Living (2015–2016), then Talkfest (2017–2019), on ABC RN. He remains a regular guest on ABC Radio and TV. Michael has also worked as a Breakfast presenter for Melbourne’s 3RRR, as a member of the Australia Council’s Literature Board, in publishing and has written extensively for the Guardian, the AgeSydney Morning HeraldAustralian and elsewhere.


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