Richard Flanagan Is the Winner of the 2014 Man Booker Prize

Despite grumblings and fears about the Man Booker Prize opening the gates to Americans, the prize stayed in the Commonwealth. Australian author Richard Flanagan won for his historical novel The Narrow Road to the Deep North. Here is the description from the US publisher, Knopf:

August, 1943. In the despair of a Japanese POW camp on the Thai-Burma Death Railway, Australian surgeon Dorrigo Evans is haunted by his affair with his uncle’s young wife two years earlier. His life is a daily struggle to save the men under his command from starvation, from cholera, from pitiless beatings. Until he receives a letter that will change him forever.

Moving deftly from the POW camp to contemporary Australia, from the experiences of Dorrigo and his comrades to those of the Japanese guards, this savagely beautiful novel tells a story of love, death, and family, exploring the many forms of good and evil, war and truth, guilt and transcendence, as one man comes of age, prospers, only to discover all that he has lost.

The shortlisted books were

  • To Rise Again at a Decent Hour by Joshua Ferris
  • The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flanagan
  • We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler
  • J by Howard Jacobson
  • The Lives of Others by Neel Mukherjee
  • How to Be Both by Ali Smith
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