Richard Flanagan gifts PM's Literary Award winnings

Richard Flanagan gifts PM's Literary Award winnings

Tasmanian author Richard Flanagan, joint winner of the Prime Minister's Literary Award for his novel, The Narrow Road to the Deep North, has donated his prize winnings of $40,000 to ILF, saying that literacy can change lives.

In his acceptance speech on Monday 8 December, Flanagan paid tribute to his father, Archie, a prisoner of war who inspired his book, saying that as a POW he learnt that the measure of any civilised society was how it looked after its most vulnerable.

Flanagan said that he hoped the donation would go some way to helping Indigenous children in remote communities.

"If just one of those children in turn becomes a writer, if just one brings to Australia and to the world an idea of the universe that arises out of that glorious lineage of 60,000 years of Australian civilisation, then I will think this prize has rewarded not just me, but us all," he said.

Executive Director Karen Williams said that the Foundation was deeply honoured to receive such a generous donation.  She said the donation will go to ensure literacy programs in remote communities across Australia in 2015.

The Narrow Road to the Deep North is a book about a prisoner of war working on the Thai-Burma railway and has received international critical acclaim.

The Prime Minister's Literary Award was jointly shared with Steven Carroll for A World of Other People.

  • Posted 09 December, 2014