Richard Flanagan Profile

As Richard Flanagan's new novel, The Unknown Terrorist, is published in the UK, the author is interviewed by Stephen Moss in "The Guardian".

"I'm sorry about that," says Flanagan when I mention my post-book depression. "I wanted to make a mirror to what I felt Australia had become. I think it is a pretty bleak country at the moment. It was a land of such hope and possibility when I was younger, and in the past couple of years, like a lot of Australians, I've ended up feeling ashamed of what it had become. But we can't blame governments or parties or politicians; we have to accept in the end it was we as a people who happily went along with this. There was a loss of empathy. I don't know where that comes from. We're a migrant nation made up of people who've been torn out of other worlds, and you'd think we would have some compassion."
"He claims he has become a controversialist and polemicist by accident. "A novelist's job is to write good novels -- that's the beginning and end of it, and that's what I strive for. There are writers who wish to be politicians and they corrupt their own writing in the process, but I'm in an unusual situation. I write very little about Australian or Tasmanian politics; it's just that when I do, it seems to get noticed."

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on May 1, 2007 9:35 AM.

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