Oct 14, 2014

By Michael Kramer

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Author Richard Flanagan from Australia has captured the prestigious Booker Prize for fiction with “The Narrow Road to the Deep North,” a story of war and its aftermath.

Flanagan mined his father’s experiences as a Second World War prisoner of Japan for the book – centering on the Burma Death Railway, which was built with forced labour – at the cost of tens of thousands of lives.

The award carries with it an $80,000 purse – and a sales boost.

Flanagan’s victory today disappointed those who hoped to see an American win, in the first year that U.S. writers were eligible. The Booker was previously open to authors from Britain, Ireland and the Commonwealth of former British colonies, including Australia.

U.S. writers Joshua Ferris and Karen Joy Fowler were among the six finalists.

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