The 2018 Fairway Galle Literary Festival is delighted to welcome author Richard Flanagan. (Richard Flanagan Photo Credit: Joel Saget)

FGLF 2018 Participant - Author Richard Flanagan.

FGLF 2018 Participant – Author Richard Flanagan (Photo Credit: Joel Saget)

Richard Flanagan is a writer from Tasmania whom the Economist appraised as “the finest Australian novelist of his generation.” Each of his novels has attracted major praise and received numerous awards and honours.

In 2014, Richard Flanagan was awarded the “Man Booker prize”, the “Western Australian Premier’s Literary Award for Fiction”, the “Australian Prime Minister’s Literary Prize”, “The Athens Prize for Literature” and the “Lire Prix du meilleur livre étranger” for The Narrow Road to the Deep North (2013).

2018 FGLF Participant Book - The Narrow Road to the Deep North

The novel, which took Flanagan twelve years to write, inspired by his father’s experiences being a Japanese prisoner of war, is about the life of Dorrigo Evans, a flawed war hero and survivor of the Death Railway. The Narrow Road to the Deep North has been hailed by “The Australian” as beyond comparison … An immense achievement.

He co-wrote the film Australia (the third-highest grossing Australian film of all time) directed by Baz Luhrmann, starring Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman (2008).

FGLF 2018 Participant Richard Flanagan - co-writer of film Australia

Richard Flanagan’s life was also the subject of a BAFTA award-winning BBC documentary, Life After Death.

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Richard Flanagan’s forthcoming novel, titled First Person, and will draw from his experience as the ghost-writer of the autobiography of John Friedrich, one of Australia’s most notorious con-men.

FGLF 2018 Participant Book - First Person

“I was offered $10,000 to write [an autobiography] in six weeks, … I was labouring at the time, broke, and my wife was pregnant with twins, and we were in pretty desperate straits. So I took the job. In the third week, John Friedrich shot himself dead and I had to finish the book.”Richard Flanagan (Guardian Australia)

Taking as its premise an almost identical circumstance to that of Flanagan’s own – struggling writer Kip Kehlmann has six weeks to ghost-write the memoir of a con artist, Ziggy Heidl, for which he will receive a much-needed paycheck. As the writing process develops, and Kip is taken deeper into the world of the charlatan and begins to fear that Heidl is not simply dealing in slippery stories, but is changing – perhaps even erasing – him.


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