In his Man Booker Prize-winning novel, The Narrow Road to the Deep North, Richard Flanagan found the humane in the face of a great crime. The 2014 book, about the World War II Prisoners of War who built the Thai-Burma railway, earned Flanagan parallels with Cormac McCarthy and a vocal fan in former US President Barack Obama.
Like his celebrated creation, the painter William Buelow Gould, who escapes tyranny by becoming a sea horse, Flanagan is a writer who constantly reinvents himself. Each novel finds a new style and a new subject, from eco-tragedy to contemporary drama, zeitgeist thriller, meditation on desire, or tales of tyrants and artists. With First Person, Flanagan uses aspects of his own autobiography to mock memoir – and to ask, in our age of 'fake news', what is truth and where is freedom.
At the Athenaeum Theatre, join one of Australia’s leading literary talents on his exploration into the meaning, and the problem, of truth.
This event will be Auslan interpreted.
Presented in partnership with Readings.
Richard Flanagan was born in Tasmania in 1961. His novels Death of a River Guide, The Sound of One Hand Clapping, Gould’s Book of Fish, The Unknown Terrorist, Wanting and The Narrow Road to the Deep North have received numerous honours and are published in 42 countries. He won the Man Booker Prize for The Narrow Road to the Deep North in 2014.
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 Age, Sydney Morning Herald, Australian and elsewhere.