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Richard Flanagan

Biography

Richard Flanagan

Descended from
Irish convicts transported to Van Diemens Land (later renamed
Tasmania) during the Great Famine, Richard Flanagan was born in his
native island in 1961, the fifth of six children. He spent his
childhood in the mining town of Rosebery and left school at sixteen
to work as a bush laborer. He later attended Oxford University as a
Rhodes Scholar. His first novel is the much celebrated DEATH OF A
RIVER GUIDE, which won major Australian literary prizes including
the 1996 National Fiction Award and was described by the Times
Literary Supplement
as "one of the most auspicious debuts in
Australian writing." His second novel, THE SOUND OF ONE HAND
CLAPPING, was similarly critically acclaimed and has sold over
150,000 copies in Australia, an unprecedented figure there for a
literary novel. It won the Australian Booksellers Book of the Year
Award and the Vance Palmer Prize for Fiction. Flanagan’s
first two novels, declared Kirkus Reviews, “rank with
the finest fiction out of Australia since the heyday of Patrick
White.” GOULD’S BOOK OF FISH, his third novel, won Best
Book for the 2002 Commonwealth Writers Prize in the South East Asia
& South Pacific Region. In addition to Australia and the USA,
his novels are being published in Spain, Portugal, Italy, Sweden,
Britain, Germany, Holland, and France. He directed an acclaimed
feature film based on THE SOUND OF ONE HAND CLAPPING, which had its
world premiere in competition at the 1998 Berlin Film Festival,
where it was nominated for the Golden Bear for best film. He lives
in Tasmania with his wife and three children.

Richard Flanagan