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y separately published work icon First Person single work   novel  
Issue Details: First known date: 2017... 2017 First Person
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'First Person, Flanagan’s first novel since winning the Man Booker Prize in 2014, is inspired by Flanagan’s real-life experience ghost-writing the memoir of Australian conman Johann Friedrich Hohenberger.

'The novel is written in the first person by reality TV producer Kif Kehlman and details how Kif, as a younger, penniless writer unable to finish his first novel, agrees to ghost write the memoir of a notorious con man, Ziggy Heidl, who has defrauded the banks of $700 million.

'As work gets underway, Kif begins to fear that he is being corrupted by the con man and grows ever more uncertain as to whether he is ghost writing a memoir, or if Ziggy Heidl is rewriting him.

'At the novel’s heart is a question: what is the truth?' (Publication summary)

Exhibitions

17215744
17023670

Notes

  • For Nikki Christer

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

    • London,
      c
      England,
      c
      c
      United Kingdom (UK),
      c
      Western Europe, Europe,
      :
      Chatto and Windus ,
      2017 .
      image of person or book cover 8746538222392750394.jpg
      Image courtesy of publisher's website.
      Extent: 392p.p.
      ISBN: 9781784742195, 1784742198
    • New York (City), New York (State),
      c
      United States of America (USA),
      c
      Americas,
      :
      Knopf ,
      2018 .
      image of person or book cover 8935777060164327807.jpg
      Image courtesy of publisher's website.
      Extent: 1v.p.
      Edition info: 1st American ed.
      ISBN: 9780525520023, 0525520023
    • Melbourne, Victoria,: Penguin , 2018 .
      image of person or book cover 6602470185834595169.jpg
      Cover image courtesy of publisher.
      Extent: 400p.
      Note/s:
      • Published 2 July 2018

      ISBN: 9780143787259
    • New York (City), New York (State),
      c
      United States of America (USA),
      c
      Americas,
      :
      Vintage ,
      2019 .
      image of person or book cover 541339750929433075.jpg
      Image courtesy of publisher's website.
      Extent: 402p.p.
      ISBN: 9780525435778, 0525435778
      Series: y separately published work icon Vintage International New York (City) : Vintage , 1993- 19532994 1993 series - publisher novel

      'William Faulkner, Philip Roth, Alice Munro, Thomas Mann, Doris Lessing, Albert Camus, V.S. Naipaul, Gabriel García Márquez, Salman Rushdie, Joan Didion, and Cormac McCarthy, among many others: Vintage International is devoted to publishing the best writing of the past century from the world over. Offering both classic and modern fiction and literary nonfiction in elegant editions, Vintage International aims to provide readers with world-class writing that has stood the test of time and essential works by the preeminent authors of today.'

      Source: Vintage.

Alternative title: Der Erzähler
Language: German
    • Munich,
      c
      Germany,
      c
      Western Europe, Europe,
      :
      Piper ,
      2018 .
      image of person or book cover 3938928517275878240.jpg
      This image has been sourced from online.
      Extent: 448 p.p.
      ISBN: 9783492058988

Other Formats

  • Dyslexic edition.
  • Large print.
  • Sound recording.

Works about this Work

Eligibility, Access and the Laws of Literary Prizes Alexandra Dane , 2020 single work criticism
— Appears in: Australian Humanities Review , May no. 66 2020;

'The ability of literary prizes to sway literary tastes and shape cultural discourse has long been explored through the decisions made by the prize judging panel. The jury of experts, who bring with them symbolic capital and are often regarded as representing a nation’s sophisticated literary palate, have been the subject of extensive scholarship. However, there is a selection process that occurs prior to the commencement of the official or public adjudication. The entry guidelines for individual literary prizes ensure that particular authors and titles will not, or cannot, be considered for the prize and are, therefore, excluded from the symbolic and economic rewards that come with being shortlisted for and winning a literary prize. How do literary prize eligibility requirements limit access to the prestige and promotion that comes with a literary prize? How does the issue of exclusivity influence the ways prizes run, the winners that are chosen and, ultimately, the field-wide conceptions of prize-winning writing?' (Introduction)

Encounter with the Monstrous Richard Carr , 2018 single work review
— Appears in: Antipodes , vol. 32 no. 1/2 2018; (p. 320-322)

— Review of First Person Richard Flanagan , 2017 single work novel

'Kif Kehlmann can encapsulate his life in a few phrases: married to Suzy, a devoted wife, with a preschool daughter and twins soon to arrive; living a modest life in Hobart (modest home, twenty-year-old car, serviceable clothing); working as a part-time doorman (and taking on odd jobs as they arise); and writing a novel—a literary one. His wife professes unflinching belief in him, convinced that Kif will produce a book that will earn him celebrity and them a life unconstrained by material want.' (Introduction)

A Novel Based on the True Story of a Con Man and His Ghostwriter Olen Steinhauer , 2018 single work review
— Appears in: The New York Times Book Review , 3 June 2018;

'We live in unsettling times. This isn’t news — both the mainstream media outlets and their alt-news adversaries agree on this point, even if they disagree about what, exactly, has gone wrong. As unnerving as the last few American decades have been, it feels as if the last couple of years have been quantifiably different from what came before, and that the wall that once separated reality from fiction has been beaten into a pile of stones.' (Introduction)

The Ghost of Creativity Spurned Geordie Williamson , 2017 single work essay
— Appears in: The Monthly , October no. 138 2017; (p. 54-57)

'No one has written better than Henry James about the vocation o: writing, its isolate ecstasies and public humiliations, and the implacable demands it places upon those who devote their lives to its practice. Take the 1888 novella The Lesson of the Master, in which a tyro scribe enters the circle o: Henry St George, a literary eminence now past his prime. In a series of conversations, the senior writer tutors the junior in the inescapable trade-off literature will require of him. It seems he must choose between the lone.y perfection of art and the disabling entanglements of marriage and children.' (Introduction)

The Horror! The Horror!: First Person by Richard Flanagan Roslyn Jolly , 2017 single work review
— Appears in: Sydney Review of Books , December 2017;

— Review of First Person Richard Flanagan , 2017 single work novel

'Two deaths – two executions – are at the heart of the darkness that is Richard Flanagan’s new novel, First Person. One takes place in the wild and remote Gulf country of northern Queensland and the other in the seemingly mundane setting of an outer Melbourne suburb. Notwithstanding these different environments, they are two versions of essentially the same scene. In each, a journey to a place beyond streets, houses, families and women culminates in an act of violence, which is conjured out of the chaos of masculine relationships by the agency of bullying dressed up as mateship. Or, more simply: two men go into the bush with a gun and only one of them comes out.' (Introduction)

Face-off James Ley , 2017 single work essay
— Appears in: Australian Book Review , November no. 396 2017; (p. 27-29)

— Review of First Person Richard Flanagan , 2017 single work novel

'The literature of the modern era contains any number of stories about doppelgängers, divided selves, alter egos, obsessive relationships, and corrosive forms of mutual dependence. The enduring appeal of these doubling motifs is that they give a dramatic structure to abstract moral and psychological conflicts, but they can also be used to suggest that there is something unresolvable or false about our identities. The awareness that the selves we present to others are a kind of projection or performance introduces an element of uncertainty into our social interactions. It opens up the possibilities of self-invention and manipulation and deceit; it raises the question of whether or not we can ever truly claim to know another human being. As an unreliable character points out near the end of Richard Flanagan’s First Person, the word ‘person’ is derived from the Latin persona, meaning a mask.' (Introduction)

The Horror! The Horror!: First Person by Richard Flanagan Roslyn Jolly , 2017 single work review
— Appears in: Sydney Review of Books , December 2017;

— Review of First Person Richard Flanagan , 2017 single work novel

'Two deaths – two executions – are at the heart of the darkness that is Richard Flanagan’s new novel, First Person. One takes place in the wild and remote Gulf country of northern Queensland and the other in the seemingly mundane setting of an outer Melbourne suburb. Notwithstanding these different environments, they are two versions of essentially the same scene. In each, a journey to a place beyond streets, houses, families and women culminates in an act of violence, which is conjured out of the chaos of masculine relationships by the agency of bullying dressed up as mateship. Or, more simply: two men go into the bush with a gun and only one of them comes out.' (Introduction)

Encounter with the Monstrous Richard Carr , 2018 single work review
— Appears in: Antipodes , vol. 32 no. 1/2 2018; (p. 320-322)

— Review of First Person Richard Flanagan , 2017 single work novel

'Kif Kehlmann can encapsulate his life in a few phrases: married to Suzy, a devoted wife, with a preschool daughter and twins soon to arrive; living a modest life in Hobart (modest home, twenty-year-old car, serviceable clothing); working as a part-time doorman (and taking on odd jobs as they arise); and writing a novel—a literary one. His wife professes unflinching belief in him, convinced that Kif will produce a book that will earn him celebrity and them a life unconstrained by material want.' (Introduction)

Richard Flanagan on Lies, Literature, and Australia’s Greatest Conman Stephanie Honor Convery , 2017 single work essay
— Appears in: The Guardian Australia , 20 March 2017;
'The Booker prize-winning author’s next novel draws from his first book: a ghost-written memoir of the Australian criminal John Friedrich'
Richard Flanagan First Person KR , 2017 single work column
— Appears in: The Saturday Paper , 21-27 October 2017;

'The real question here is: how does one follow up such a magnificent, life-changing, world-changing novel as The Narrow Road to the Deep North?' 

Flanagan Goes One Better with Web of Fiction Sunil Badami , 2017 single work column
— Appears in: The Weekend Australian , 7 October 2017; (p. 20)

'Truth is stranger than fiction,' Mark Twain wrote in Following the Equator, the travelogue that included his visit to Australia. And 'Aust­ralian history.' he decided, 'does not read like history, but like the most beautiful of lies … but they are all true, they all happened.'Fiction and identity have been significant themes of Richard Flanagan’s work, with most of his books exploring the blurred borders between­ history and narrative, the public and the personal, truth and invention. (Introduction)

Richard Flanagan: ‘Fiction Is Not a Lie, but a Truth, a Necessary Truth’ Stephanie Cross , 2017 single work column
— Appears in: The Guardian Australia , 5 November 2017;

'The Booker prize winner on his new novel and why it’s not always possible to separate fact from fiction.

The Ghost of Creativity Spurned Geordie Williamson , 2017 single work essay
— Appears in: The Monthly , October no. 138 2017; (p. 54-57)

'No one has written better than Henry James about the vocation o: writing, its isolate ecstasies and public humiliations, and the implacable demands it places upon those who devote their lives to its practice. Take the 1888 novella The Lesson of the Master, in which a tyro scribe enters the circle o: Henry St George, a literary eminence now past his prime. In a series of conversations, the senior writer tutors the junior in the inescapable trade-off literature will require of him. It seems he must choose between the lone.y perfection of art and the disabling entanglements of marriage and children.' (Introduction)

Last amended 30 Jul 2020 14:06:34
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