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Flanagan, Richard

Entry updated 25 October 2021. Tagged: Author.

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(1961-    ) Australian author whose third novel, Gould's Book of Fish: A Novel in Twelve Fish (2001) describes early Australian history – specifically the deeply troubled culture of Tasmania – in terms at points reminiscent of the Magic Realism techniques used by Latin American writers in their manufacture of national myths of origin; the tale is a central example of what has come to be known as Tasmanian Gothic, with the landscape itself providing the Gothic element. The Unknown Terrorist (2006) is a Near Future tale set in a Sydney so greedy to embrace the exorbitances of security theatre that the merciless destruction of an innocent life can be understood – even welcomed – as collateral damage necessary to make a good showing. The Living Sea of Waking Dreams (2020) interweaves Magic Realism and Dystopia in its intense dramatization of the coming death through something like literal Invisibility of its suffering protagonist, which can be seen as analogous with the dying away of the planet as Climate Change burns Australia up. [JC]

Richard Flanagan

born Longford, Tasmania: July 1961



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