Tuesday, 14th October
I have been making notes all month, but it wasn’t until Richard Flanagan gave me a kick up the backside that I actually started sewing.
Whilst watching television, late on Tuesday night, I heard the announcement that Flanagan had won the Man Booker Prize for his novel, ‘The Narrow Road To The Deep North’. I have not read the book. I will read it in about eight months, when it starts hitting the charity shops by the shelf-load.
It took twelve years and five versions to complete.
The book is set during The Second World War. It was inspired by his father, Archie Flanagan, who spent three and a half years in a Japanese prisoner of war camp. Fourteen thousand people died in the camp.
335, is the POW number given to Archie Flanagan. He died shortly after the book was completed.
On Wednesday morning Richard was interviewed on ‘Breakfast’. He talked about his father telling him how it felt to be starving, in your brain and your belly. He told him what a rotting ulcer smelled like. “The truth exists in those small, but very real, details,” he said. He told of how he had gone and met one of the guards, whilst researching his book. A man the prisoners called The Lizard.
I decided that I really liked Richard. He said his grandparents had been illiterate. He said the prize money would allow him to continue writing. I am glad.