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Richard Flanagan, 2014 Man Booker Prize for Fiction

The University is celebrating the extraordinary success of one of Australia's finest creative minds, our alumnus Richard Flanagan.

The University is celebrating the extraordinary success of one of Australia's finest creative minds, our alumnus Richard Flanagan.

Richard's latest novel, The Narrow Road to the Deep North (Chatto and Windus), has been awarded the 2014 Man Booker Prize for Fiction.

The Man Booker is arguably the world's most prestigious literary prize and the recipient is awarded 50,000 pounds (more than $80,000).

Richard was the only Australian writer to have his work chosen for this year's long list. He is the third Australian to win the prize since it began 46 years ago.

The Narrow Road to the Deep North is inspired by Richard's late father Archie's experiences as a survivor of the Thai-Burma Railway during the Second World War. Both the stylistic achievements and the handling of the harrowing subject have seen the novel hailed as a masterpiece, and a lasting testament to the life of Richard's father and the plight of prisoners of war.

During his time at the University of Tasmania, Richard completed a Bachelor of Arts with First Class Honours. He went on to be awarded a Rhodes Scholarship, allowing him to study at the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom.

The consistent achievement of Richard throughout his career serves to inspire the next generation of young creatives, who look up to his significant literary and film-making accomplishments. His work has received numerous accolades, but throughout his success Richard has retained a quiet modesty, belying the heights of his extraordinary achievements.

The Flanagan family has extensive connections to the University. Richard has siblings who are also alumni of our University and children who are currently University of Tasmania students with us. Since his win, he has cited strong mentors and influences who inspired him as a student here. Richard's commitment to the artistic life of the Island is commendable. His devotion to Tasmania's past and present, both as his home and a source of inspiration, in turn serves as inspiration to other Tasmanians. In his literary renderings of our island home, we see ourselves and our home anew.

Published on: 27 Feb 2015 9:53am