The Narrow Road to the Deep North (novel)

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The Narrow Road to the Deep North
The Narrow Road to the Deep North (novel).jpg
AuthorRichard Flanagan
GenreFiction novel
Published23 September 2013
PublisherRandom House
Media typePrint, e-book
Pages352 pp. (hardcover edition)
Awards2014 Man Booker Prize

The Narrow Road to the Deep North is the sixth novel by Richard Flanagan. It received critical acclaim on its release, and won the 2014 Man Booker Prize.[1][2][3]


The book tells the story of Dorrigo Evans, an Australian doctor haunted by memories of a love affair with his uncle's wife and of his subsequent experiences as a prisoner of war. Post-war, he finds his growing celebrity as a war hero at odds with his sense of his own failings and guilt.

Taking its title from 17th-century haiku poet Matsuo Bashō's famous haibun Oku no Hosomichi,[4] best known in English as The Narrow Road to the Deep North, the novel is epic in form and chronicles an Australian century, with one horrific day at its heart on the Burma Railway in August 1943. As that day builds to its climax, the novel grows to encompass the post-war lives of Japanese and Korean prison guards as well as Australian Far East Prisoners of War. The novel deals both with the effects of war and the many forms of love.


Flanagan has described, in The Sydney Morning Herald, how his father's experience of being a Japanese POW influenced him to write the book.[5]


  1. ^ Williamson, Geordie (28 September 2013). "Poetry without a shred of pity". The Australian. Retrieved 31 December 2013.
  2. ^ Herborn, Daniel (15 December 2013). "The Narrow Road to the Deep North". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 7 January 2014.
  3. ^ Masters, Tim (14 October 2014). "Man Booker Prize: Richard Flanagan wins for wartime love story". BBC News. Retrieved 13 November 2014.
  4. ^ Williams, Michael (26 September 2013). "Dinner with Richard Flanagan, a child of the death railway". The Guardian. Retrieved 31 December 2013.
  5. ^ Flanagan, Richard (21 September 2013). "Freeing my father". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 7 January 2014.