Richard Flanagan

Richard Miller Flanagan (b 1961), writer, was born in Longford, and attended local schools and the University of Tasmania, where he was a Rhodes Scholar. Employed at various times as a river guide and labourer, he studied history, and his first four books dealt with historical topics, including A Terrible Beauty: History of the Gordon River Country (1985) and The Rest of the World is Watching (1990), concerning the Greens' rise in Tasmania. Flanagan became internationally famous through his novels, Death of a River Guide (1994), The Sound of One Hand Clapping (1997) and Gould's Book of Fish (2001). Each was short-listed for the Miles Franklin Award, and Gould's Book of Fish won the 2002 Commonwealth Writers' Prize. Intelligent, outspoken in defence of Tasmania's interests, often ruffling the establishment, Flanagan is arguably Tasmania's best-known contemporary author.

Alison Alexander