Richard Flanagan

Richard Flanagan (born 1961) is an author, historian and film director from Tasmania, Australia. He was president of the Tasmania University Union and a Rhodes Scholar.

The Franklin River and after

A keen canoeist, he canoed the Franklin River thirteen times and was a member of the first expedition to canoe the Jane River and Gordon Gorge. He achieved a first class honours degree at the University of Tasmania in 1982 and in the following year was awarded a Rhodes Scholarship. In the foreword to Flanagan's 1985 publication, "A Terrible Beauty - History of the Gordon", Bob Brown wrote, "Australia has not heard the last of the Tasmanian wilderness nor, I happily predict, has it heard the last of Richard Flanagan."

Each of his novels has attracted major praise. His first, "Death of a River Guide" (1994), was short-listed for the Miles Franklin Award, as were his next two, "The Sound of One Hand Clapping" (1997) and "Gould's Book of Fish" (2001). His earlier, non-fiction titles include books about the Gordon River, student issues, and the story of conman John Friedrich.

Two of his novels are set on the West Coast of Tasmania; where he lived in the township of Rosebery as a child. "Death of a River Guide" relates to the Franklin River, "Gould's Book of Fish" to the Macquarie Harbour Penal Station, and "The Sound of One Hand Clapping" to the Hydro settlements in the Central Highlands of Tasmania.

The 1998 film of "The Sound of One Hand Clapping", directed by Flanagan, was nominated for best film at that year's Berlin Film Festival. "Gould's Book of Fish" won the 2002 Commonwealth Writers Prize. (When originally published in hardback, it had different sections in different type colour, with plates of the fish paintings interleaved in the text; the paperback edition has them at the rear of the book.)

Flanagan has written various pieces on Tasmanian politics for the Australian press, some of which have proved controversial: "The Selling-out of Tasmania", published after the death of popular former Premier Jim Bacon in 2004, was strongly critical of the Bacon government's relationship with corporate interests in the state.

Flanagan's 2007 article in The Monthly [http://www.themonthly.com.au/tm/?q=node/512] is credited as catalysing Sydney businessman Geoffrey Cousins' high profile campaign against the Gunns' Tasmanian Bell Bay Pulp Mill [http://www.smh.com.au/news/opinion/vision-ltd-turnbull-yes-to-mess-for-50-years/2007/10/05/1191091360751.html?page=fullpage#contentSwap1] .

A painting of Richard Flanagan by artist Geoffrey Dyer won the 2003 Archibald Prize.

Earlier Non-Fiction

* Student Accommodation Crisis (1984)
* "A terrible beauty : history of the Gordon River country" Richmond, Vic. : Greenhouse, 1985. ISBN 0-86436-001-0

* "The Rest of the World is Watching: Tasmania and the Greens" Sydney: Sun, 1990. ISBN 0-7251-0651-4 (co-editor with Cassandra Pybus)
* "Codename Iago: The Story of John Friedrich" Melbourne : William Heinemann Australia, 1991. ISBN 0-85561-452-8 (with John Friedrich)

Novels

* "Death of a River Guide" (1994)
* "The Sound of One Hand Clapping" (1997)
* "" (2001)
* "The Unknown Terrorist" (2006)

External links

* [http://www.randomhouse.com.au/Authors/Default.aspx?Page=Author&ID=Flanagan,%20Richard Richard Flanagan at Random House Australia]
* [http://www.abc.net.au/rn/bookshow/stories/2008/2123434.htm] Transcript of interview with Ramona Koval on The Book Show, ABC Radio National from Byron Bay Writers Festival, July 2007
* [http://www.theage.com.au/articles/2004/07/21/1090089215626.html The Selling-out of Tasmania]
* [http://www.tamarpulpmill.info/flanagan.pdf Paradise Razed, published in The Telegraph]
* [http://www.complete-review.com/reviews/austnz/flanagr1.htm Review of "Gould's Book of Fish"]
*
* [http://www.theunknownterrorist.com.au "The Unknown Terrorist" official site]
* [http://www.edrants.com/segundo/?p=153 "The Bat Segundo Show" podcast interview]
* [http://www.australiamovie.net "AUSTRALIA" a baz luhrmann film]
* [http://www.themonthly.com.au/pastIssues/index.html The Monthly: Gunns Out of Control]

See also

* Convicts on the West Coast of Tasmania


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