Question 7 (Hardcover)

Question 7 By Richard Flanagan Cover Image

Question 7 (Hardcover)


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An exquisite, genre-defying new book from the Booker Prize–winning author of The Narrow Road to the Deep North, a reckoning with the author’s life and family, and the role of fiction in our times

By way of H. G. Wells and Rebecca West’s affair through 1930s nuclear physics to Flanagan's father working as a slave laborer 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 been described by The Washington Post as “one of our greatest living novelists” and as “among the most versatile writers in the English language” by The New York Review of Books. He won the Booker Prize for The Narrow Road to the Deep North and the Commonwealth Prize for Gould’s Book of Fish.
Product Details ISBN: 9780593802335
ISBN-10: 0593802330
Publisher: Knopf
Publication Date: July 23rd, 2024
Pages: 288
Language: English
“Question 7 is written with a spectacular mixture of fierce energy and then control, care. It is a kind of reckoning, Richard Flanagan with his father and his mother, Tasmania with its past, Japan with its past, the author with himself. It seems to me a book that will have an overwhelming effect on readers. It certainly did on me.” Colm Tóibín, author of Brooklyn

“A small masterpiece . . . It’s a memoir about his parents, interwoven with meditations on Tasmania, genocide, colonialism, the atomic bomb, H.G. Wells and Rebecca West. That sounds hard going but it is fiercely alive and genuinely hard to put down. Also: that cover. Phwoar.”  Mark Haddon, author of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
Question 7 is a brilliant, brilliant book.” James Rebanks, author of The Shepherd’s Life

Question 7 is a profoundly moving love song for the writer’s parents, a forensic excavation, a lament, a confession, a jigsaw puzzle in which Hiroshima connects to H.G. Wells and the Martians colonise Tasmania. We are all competitive, of course, so this is not an easy thing to say: but Question 7 may just be the most significant work of Australian art in the last 100 years.” Peter Carey, Sydney Morning Herald (Books of the Year)
Question 7 is the strangest and most beautiful memoir I’ve ever read. Magnificent.” Tim Winton, Sydney Morning Herald (Books of the Year)
“Sometimes a book is an experience felt almost in the body. Question 7 is such a book. It holds a life between its covers and while you read, it holds you too. A celebration of all life, it is also a reckoning with the twentieth century and what it revealed about us to ourselves. It is intimate, beautiful, unsparing and profound. It nudges at eternity, and then comes back home, to decency and love.” —Sydney Morning Herald (Books of the Year)
“It’s a big call to make for a Booker winner, but Question 7 could be Richard Flanagan’s greatest yet . . . So very personal and so very universal that it’s hard to shake.” —The Guardian (Best Australian Books of 2023)
“This deeply moving book is his finest work . . . Blending memoir and history and auto-fiction, this brilliantly unique book by the Booker winner is a treatise on the immeasurability of life . . . [It has] the psychological and philosophical sweep of Tolstoy, enmeshed in a personal essay that is tuned as finely as W.G. Sebald’s Rings of Saturn . . . Replete with nuance . . . So astute . . . While reading I found myself abruptly shutting the book again and again and steadying my own heart with a hand at my throat. Only the best writing is so affecting that a reader has a physical reaction.” —The Guardian Australia
“How should we think about the radical experiment that is Richard Flanagan’s new book? Imagine the Tasmanian author’s body of work to date as a many-coloured coat, a shimmering patchwork of story. With Question 7 that coat is turned inside out so that the old, familiar patterns are reversed . . . Flanagan furnishes readers with an autobiographical key to his oeuvre. But he also argues, using these same means, for fiction’s equal standing in the creation of that shared consensual hallucination we call reality.” —The Australian

“Is Question 7 Flanagan’s best book to date? I think it may be. It is his most intellectually complex and personally emotional work.” Stephen Romei, The Saturday Paper

“Beautiful and suffused with love . . . A slim volume of big ideas . . . As moving as it is arresting . . . Flanagan is in total command . . . He’s at his best here: this is a thrilling read, a simultaneously expansive and precise stream of consciousness . . . One of the real achievements of this book is how lightly it wears that complex interplay of the geopolitical, the historical and the personal. Because as tangled and varied as the allusions within these pages are, this is an intimate and personal work . . . What’s more, it ends with laughter.” —The Monthly
“Flanagan is a literary magician . . . In answer to the question, ‘can fiction change the world,’ Flanagan’s answer is ‘yes’ —for good and ill. Read this book and revel in the many ‘aha’ moments elicited by the masterful prose.” —ABC News Australia