Photo: Joel Saget


Richard Flanagan: The Living Sea of Waking Dreams

This event is broadcast from 7pm AEST, 29 September 2020, and available on demand until Tuesday 13 October 9pm AEDT.

Viewers will need to set up an account through Fane Productions. Instructions will be sent to ticket holders and are available here

In September, we're thrilled to present one of our finest living writers, Richard Flanagan, in conversation with award-winning journalist and broadcaster Jennifer Byrne.

Flanagan is perhaps best known for his 2014 Booker Prize-winning novel, The Narrow Road to the Deep North, about Australian prisoners of war forced to build the Thai-Burma railway track during World War II. That novel was a work of unflinching, sometimes harrowing, realism, and a deeply researched masterclass in historical fiction. In Flanagan's other books, however, he’s often delved into magic realism or blurred notions of fact and fiction, especially in the much-loved 2001 novel, Gould's Book of Fish, and the 2017 fictional mock-memoir, First Person.

Flanagan's new novel, The Living Sea of Waking Dreams, again embraces strange and surreal elements. It's about vanishing species and vanishing selves; about a woman who sees herself, and others, disappearing – in part and in full. 

Join this shape-shifting storyteller as he discusses his highly anticipated new work.


Presented in partnership with Fane Productions.

Our online bookseller for this event will be Readings


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 Jennifer Byrne

Jennifer Byrne

Jennifer Byrne is a senior journalist and broadcaster who has worked in all arms of the media: print, radio and television.

Having done her cadetship at the Age and worked on UK’s Fleet Street, she was a founding reporter with Channel Nine’s Sunday programme and spent some 12 years traveling the world for 60 Minutes and as anchor for Foreign Correspondent. She was publishing director of Reed Books, morning presenter on ABC radio, won national awards as interviewer and columnist for the Bulletin and, in May 2006, returned to TV to create the country’s first televised Book Club, which ran on the ABC for 11 years until December 2019.


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