Stella Clarke Sydney Morning Herald: Richard Flanagan explores the energy of desire in a novel that brings together two worlds, with tragic consequences.
VANDEMONIAN testifier Richard Flanagan rages against silence and embraces risk. Remember him glowering out from that winning Archibald mugshot? He is internationally acclaimed, a winner of the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Gould’s Book Of Fish and has been called the voice of Tasmania, which, in profound ways, he is. His physical immersion in its landscape, devotion to its environmental fate and literary absorption in its history make him so. And what a voice! In any war against political untruth or the inadequate truths of history, he trusts that words are weapons. His imaginative domain is tough, marvellous and as humanly replenishing as any wilderness. Though Flanagan’s fiction can be fierce and declarative of horrors, he lines up on the side of love. His bold artistic vigour and moral courage give him stature, which must be why he felt able to say that Australian literary criticism is a dwarf-tossing competition in which good books get tossed by dwarves. Faced with the magnificence of Wanting, though, it behoves me to be an obsequious, dwarfish tosser. This is the best novel I have read this year or expect to read for several more. Read more here
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