y The Unknown Terrorist single work   novel  
Issue Details: First known date: 2006... 2006 The Unknown Terrorist
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'Gina Davies, aka The Doll, is a 26-year-old pole dancer at the Chairman's Lounge in Sydney's Kings Cross. She's a flawed woman, racist, obsessed with money, who finds her life suddenly being destroyed by the things she has up until that moment most firmly believed in. The evening of the Mardi Gras, 2007. Three unexploded bombs have been found that day at Homebush Stadium, so the country is on high-alert. When wandering through the Mardi Gras' crowds the Doll runs into a good-looking, young dark man. They end up at his place. When she wakes, it's Sunday morning and he has gone. She is getting a coffee in a café opposite the apartment block she spent the night in when she sees armed police surround the building she has just left. Later in the day while shopping in the city she sees a story on a big video screen in which the news is of a suspected terrorist entering the same building she had spent the night in. That night, on television news, the story has altered a little. In an exclusive, the network has security camera footage of the terrorist entering the building the night before with an accomplice, a woman she recognises as herself. And so a case is brought against her by the media, and the hunt for her begins. From a 26-year-old pole dancer in the Chairman's Lounge, she quickly becomes the most wanted woman in Australia as every truth of her life is turned into a lie...' (Publisher's blurb)


  • Dedication: For David Hicks.
  • Brief mention under editors' choice column, The New York Times Book Review 29 July 2007, p.18.
  • Other formats: Also sound recording.

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

    • Sydney,: Picador , 2006 .
      Extent: 320p.
      ISBN: 0330422804 (pbk.), 9780330422802 (pbk.), 0330422774 (hbk.), 9780330422772 (hbk.)
    • New York (City), New York (State),
      United States of America (USA),
      Grove Press ,
      2006 .
      Extent: 325p.
      ISBN: 9780802118516
    • London,
      United Kingdom (UK),
      Western Europe, Europe,
      Atlantic Books ,
      2007 .
      Extent: 325p.
      ISBN: 9781843545989 (hbk.)
    • Toronto, Ontario,
      Harper Perennial ,
      2008 .
      Extent: 1v.p.
      • Publication date: July, 2008
      ISBN: 9781554682256, 1554682258
Alternative title: De onbekende terrorist
Language: Dutch

Works about this Work

"And Then I Smiled" : Recent Postcolonial Fiction and the War on Terror Silvia Albertazzi , 2016 single work criticism
— Appears in: Le Simplegadi , April no. 15 2016; (p. 16-23)
The aim of this essay is to compare the reactions to the 2001 attack to the Twin Towers as they are related and reflected upon in Western and non-Western fiction. We start from the analysis of a novel by a Pakistani author, Mohsin Hamid, The Reluctant Fundamentalist. Then, we compare the genesis of a terrorist, as it is depicted by the American author John Updike in Terrorist, and the creation of a terrorist by the media, which is the main subject of The Unknown Terrorist by the Australian 2014 Man Booker Prize Winner Richard Flanagan.
The Post-Sovereign Novel : Biopolitical Immunities in Manfred Jurgensen’s The American Brother Michael Austin , 2016 single work criticism
— Appears in: Australian Literary Studies , 10 August vol. 31 no. 4 2016;
'The Australian government’s responses to the September 11 attacks introduced a new theme into Australian literature. Novels such as Andrew McGahan’s Underground and Richard Flanagan’s The Unknown Terrorist sought to address, in narrative form, threats to the rule of law that arose from a rapidly emerging Western security state. Drawing on the political and juridical framework of liberalism, these novels attacked an Australian political and social milieu that justified the expansion of sovereign power. This essay argues that the liberal framework informing these novels misrecognises the structure of power post-9/11: insofar as it posits an absolute dichotomy between law and sovereignty, the language of liberalism prevents us from thinking right and power concomitantly. This essay reads Manfred Jurgensen’s novel The American Brother through the political philosophy of Roberto Esposito. In doing so, it suggests that a biopolitical account of the post-9/11 security state, in the form of Esposito’s paradigm of immunisation, enables not only a coherent epistemology of contemporary sovereign power, but also opens up a critical approach to literature that thinks outside the limitations of liberal discourse.' (Publication abstract)
Richard Flanagan, a Bright Star Rising from Australian Literary World Li Yao , 2015 single work criticism
— Appears in: Oceanic Literary Studies , no. 2 2015; (p. 215-219)
'Being unfamiliar to most Chinese readers, Richard Flanagan is one of the most accomplished and distinctive writers in Australia in recent twenty years. Representing growing diversification of multiculturalism in Australia, all his works, from Death of a River Guide, The Sound of One Hand Clapping and Gould's Book of Fish : A Novel in Twelve Fish to The Unknown Terrorist, Wanting and The Narrow Road to the Deep North, are miraculous flowers bursting into bloom in the fertile soil of life, in which there is a conciliation of post-modernism and realism in creation, characterized by strong self-consciousness and magnificent realistic features. Some critics argue Flanagan reminds them of such masters as Whitman, Joyce, Faulkner and Garcia Marquez etc. As the laureat of the 2014 Man Booker Prize for English literature, Richard Flanagan is a bright star rising high from Tasmania, Australia.' (215-216)
Communicating the Incommunicable Kirsten Krauth , 2015 single work column
— Appears in: Australian Author , June vol. 47 no. 1 2015; (p. 14-17)
Leading by Trailing Caroline Baum , 2012 single work column
— Appears in: Australian Author , December vol. 44 no. 4 2012; (p. 16-19)
'Book trailers, aka promotional videos, have become part of the marketing arsenal for big-name authors, writes Caroline Baum. But you have to choose your genre carefully.'
Apocalypse Now as Darkness Descends Diane Stubbings , 2006 single work review
— Appears in: The Canberra Times , 28 October 2006; (p. 11)

— Review of The Unknown Terrorist Richard Flanagan 2006 single work novel
The Terrorist Stripped Bare David Marr , 2006 single work review
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 28-29 October 2006; (p. 32-33)

— Review of The Unknown Terrorist Richard Flanagan 2006 single work novel
Untitled Tony O'Loughlin , 2006 single work review
— Appears in: Bookseller + Publisher Magazine , October vol. 86 no. 4 2006; (p. 29)

— Review of The Unknown Terrorist Richard Flanagan 2006 single work novel
A Dance to the Music of the Times James Ley , 2006 single work review
— Appears in: The Age , 4 November 2006; (p. 27)

— Review of The Unknown Terrorist Richard Flanagan 2006 single work novel
Plea from the Heart Katharine England , 2006 single work review
— Appears in: The Advertiser , 4 November 2006; (p. 12)

— Review of The Unknown Terrorist Richard Flanagan 2006 single work novel
Uneasy Writer Catherine Keenan , 2006 single work biography
— Appears in: Good Weekend , 21 October 2006; (p. 73, 75-76)
Undercover Susan Wyndham , 2006 single work column
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 21-22 October 2006; (p. 30)
A column canvassing current literary news including reactions to Richard Flanagan's latest novel The Unknown Terrorist.
In Flanagan's Wake Tony O'Loughlin (interviewer), 2006 single work interview
— Appears in: Bookseller + Publisher Magazine , October vol. 86 no. 4 2006; (p. 44)
Worst-Case Enthusiasts Imre Salusinszky , 2006 single work column
— Appears in: The Weekend Australian , 25-26 November 2006; (p. 40)
Imre Salusinszky reflects on recent films and books that feature 'apocalyptic imaginings'. 'That apocalypse and looming disaster should form an important theme of the arts at a time like this is no surprise. But when we look at the contemporary arts and ask what is identified as the source of the disater, one extremely plausible villain, Islamofascism, is nowhere to be found.' Salusinszky illustrates his thoughts with reference, among other works, to Andrew McGahan's Underground and Richard Flanagan's The Unknown Terrorist.
When Big Brother is Just a State of Mind Carl Ungerer , David Martin Jones , 2007 single work essay
— Appears in: The Australian Literary Review , February vol. 2 no. 1 2007; (p. 6-7)

Ungerer and Martin Jones create a fictitious student roaming the bookstores of Australia's universities. Their student gains impressions of the portrayal of government policy relating to terrorism via readings of fiction and non-fiction works.

The authors decide that the student might conclude 'that either the literary and academic world inhabited a paranoid delusion or that the fascist Australian state was incompetent. For despite the apparently totalitarian controls of the anti-terror laws, government, police, bureaucracy and media all seem to tolerate, and even encourage with generous funding grants, the academic and literary exposure of their authoritarian ambitions.'

Last amended 10 Mar 2017 09:54:06