Meet the author - Richard Flanagan

Listen to the recording of Richard Flanagan on his hypnotic and genre-bending new book Question 7, on the Experience ANU SoundCloud channel.

Booker Prize-winning author, Richard Flanagan will be in conversation with Virginia Haussegger on his hypnotic and genre-bending new book Question 7. Beginning at a love hotel by Japan's Inland Sea and ending by a river in Tasmania, Question 7, is about the choices we make about love and the chain reaction that follows.

By way of H. G. Wells and Rebecca West's affair through 1930s nuclear physics to Flanagan's father working as a slave labourer near Hiroshima when the atom bomb is dropped, this daisy chain of events reaches fission when Flanagan as a young man finds himself trapped in a rapid on a wild river not knowing if he is to live or to die.

At once a love song to his island home and to his parents, this hypnotic melding of dream, history, place and memory is about how our lives so often arise out of the stories of others and the stories we invent about ourselves.

Richard Flanagan has said : 'I wanted to celebrate life and feel that the choice that presented itself to so many of us during Covid was how to live and why to even bother at all. This book was my attempt at an answer. I wanted to write about kindness and beauty and love, small things but finally the only things that matter'.

'Question 7 fascinates in its originality, and its blending of history, biography and "auto-fiction" makes it Richard's most personal book yet. I have never read anything like it before. It is an intensely emotional and beautiful book'. Nikki Christer

Richard Flanagan's novels have received numerous honours and are published in 42 countries. He won the Commonwealth Prize for Gould's Book of Fish and his 2014 novel, The Narrow Road to the Deep North, won the Man Booker Prize and co- shared the Prime Minister's Prize for fiction. As a journalist, he has written for various Australian and international publications, including Le MondeThe Daily TelegraphThe New York Times, and The New Yorker. A rapid on the Franklin River is named after him.

Virginia Haussegger AM is an award winning journalist, broadcaster & former ABC News anchor in Canberra. Virginia is an Adjunct Professor at the University of Canberra and Deputy Chair of the media think-tank PIJI, the Public Interest Journalism Initiative.

International best-selling author and environmentalist Karen Viggers will give the vote of thanks.

This event is in association with Harry Hartog Bookshop. Books will be available for purchase on the evening in the Cultural Centre foyer. Book signing will be available from 7pm onwards.


Registration is required for this event.

Accessible parking spaces are available around campus should you require them.

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podcast will be made available after the event.

Symposium by University House Wine bar (Shop 13, 152 University Avenue, Acton, which is just next to the Kambri cultural centre) will now be open for dining after meet the author events. Food and wine details at No bookings necessary.

TEQSA Provider ID: PRV12002 (Australian University) | CRICOS Provider Code: 00120C

Date and Times


Room: Cinema