Ghost writing and criminal minds | Richard Flanagan on the Vintage Podcast
‘I only realised this later, much later, when I came to fear that the beginning of that book was also the end of me.’
Alex Clark talks to Man Booker Winner Richard Flanagan
Read more about his wonderful book, First Person:
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Six weeks to write for your life… In this blistering story of a ghostwriter haunted by his demonic subject, the Man Booker Prize winner turns to lies, crime and literature with devastating effect
A young and penniless writer, Kif Kehlmann, is rung in the middle of the night by the notorious con man and corporate criminal, Siegfried Heidl. About to go to trial for defrauding the banks of $700 million, Heidl proposes a deal: $10,000 for Kehlmann to ghostwrite his memoir in six weeks.
Kehlmann accepts but begins to fear that he is being corrupted by Heidl. As the deadline draws closer, he becomes ever more unsure if he is ghostwriting a memoir, or if Heidl is rewriting him—his life, his future. Everything that was certain grows uncertain as he begins to wonder: who is Siegfried Heidl—and who is Kif Kehlmann?
By turns compelling, comic and chilling, First Person is a haunting journey into the heart of our age.
Richard Flanagan was born in Tasmania in 1961. His novels Death of a River Guide, The Sound of One Hand Clapping, Gould’s Book of Fish, The Unknown Terrorist, Wanting and The Narrow Road to the Deep North have received numerous honours and are published in 42 countries. He won the Man Booker Prize for The Narrow Road to the Deep North in 2014.
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