Richard Flanagan Wins the 2014 Man Booker Prize

October 14, 2014


Australian novelist Richard Flanagan has won this year’s Man Booker Prize for The Narrow Road to the Deep North. The book begins:

Why at the beginning of things is there always light? Dorrigo Evans’ earliest memories were of sun flooding a church hall in which he sat with his mother and grandmother. A wooden church hall. Blinding light and him toddling back and forth, in and out of its transcendent welcome, into the arms of women. Women who loved him. Like entering the sea and returning to the beach. Over and over.

The book is the story of an Australian prisoner of war, among more than 9,000 who were forced to build a railway through Burma and Thailand. Michael Gorra for the New York Times Book Review drew comparisons to Conrad and Zola and called it formally demanding but also “carefully and beautifully constructed.”

Revisit this year’s Booker Shortlist.

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