Australian writer Richard Flanagan has won the 2014 Man Booker Prize for his novel, The Narrow Road to the Deep North (Knopf, Aug.). The award was announced in a ceremony at London's Guildhall on Tuesday evening. Flanagan will receive £50,000 (in addition to the £2,500 he was awarded for being shortlisted).
"The two great themes from the origin of literature are love and war: this is a magnificent novel of love and war," said AC Grayling, chair of judges, in describing Narrow Road to the Deep North. "Written in prose of extraordinary elegance and force, it bridges East and West, past and present, with a story of guilt and heroism."
The Tasmanian-born Flanagan, whom PW profiled in 2009, is the third Australian to win the prestigious award for fiction. With the win, he joins fellow Aussies Thomas Kenneally (Schindler’s Ark, 1982) and Peter Carey (Oscar & Lucinda, 1988, and The True History of the Kelly Gang, 2001).
The five other finalists for the prize, which was, for the first time this year, open to writers outside of the U.K. and the Commonwealth, included Howard Jacobson (J), Neel Mukherjee (The Lives of Others), Ali Smith (How to be Both), and Americans Joshua Ferris (To Rise Again at a Decent Hour) and Karen Joy Fowler (We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves).
In addition to Grayling, the 2014 panel of judges included Jonathan Bate, Sarah Churchwell, Daniel Glaser, Alastair Niven, and Erica Wagner.