Prestigious book prize saves author from mining

Richard Flanagan was announced as the winner of the 2014 Man Booker Prize for Fiction for The Narrow Road to the Deep North, on Tuesday.

The Tasmanian-born author is the third Australian to win the coveted prize, now in its 46th year.

The Narrow Road to the Deep North is the sixth novel from Flanagan and centres on the experiences of surgeon Dorrigo Evans in a Japanese POW camp on the now infamous Thailand-Burma railway.

Flanagan wins £50,000 [US$80,000], money he said would be spent on “life”, as he was not wealthy and had even, 18 months ago, considered trying to get work in the mines of northern Australia because he had spent so long on one book.

“This prize money means I can continue to be a writer,” said Flanagan, who also worked as one of the screenwriters on Baz Luhrmann’s film Australia.

Flanagan did not elaborate on which mines he was thinking of asking for work, but Australia's Northern Territory has fewer than 10, mostly gold mines.

Northern Queensland is more richly endowed, but he may have found it tough going getting a job there too. reported on Monday that 30,000 people applied for around 950 roles at the newly opened met coal mine Caval Ridge and sister property Daunia in Queensland.

Continue reading at The Guardian.