Richard Flanagan — Australian Novelist born on December 30, 1961,

Richard Miller Flanagan is an Australian novelist from Tasmania. "Considered by many to be the finest Australian novelist of his generation", according to The Economist, each of his novels has attracted major praise and received numerous awards and honors. He also has written and directed feature films. He won the 2014 Man Booker Prize... (wikipedia)

If 30 Australians drowned in Sydney Harbour, it would be a national tragedy. But when 30 or more refugees drown off the Australian coast, it is a political question.
My secret skill is baking bread. My mother was a farmer's daughter and still made bread every day when I was a child. She would have me knead the dough when I got home from school.
I believe in the verb, not the noun - I am not a writer, but someone compelled to write.
I think all novels are contemporary. When people went to see 'Antony-Cleopatra' at the Globe in the 16th century, they were not going to get a history lesson on the Roman Empire. It was about love, sex, and also about dynastic troubles.
We're a migrant nation made up of people who've been torn out of other worlds, and you'd think we would have some compassion.

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