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y separately published work icon The Narrow Road to the Deep North single work   novel   historical fiction  
Issue Details: First known date: 2013... 2013 The Narrow Road to the Deep North
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'A novel of the cruelty of war, and tenuousness of life and the impossibility of love.

'August, 1943. In the despair of a Japanese POW camp on the Thai-Burma death railway, Australian surgeon Dorrigo Evans is haunted by his love affair with his uncle's young wife two years earlier. Struggling to save the men under his command from starvation, from cholera, from beatings, he receives a letter that will change his life forever.

'This savagely beautiful novel is a story about the many forms of love and death, of war and truth, as one man comes of age, prospers, only to discover all that he has lost.' (Publisher's blurb)

Exhibitions

17215744
17023670
18388247
18387981

Reading Australia

Reading Australia

This work has Reading Australia teaching resources.

Unit Suitable For

AC: Senior Secondary (Literature Unit 3)

Themes

bravery, cruelty and futility of war, good and evil, heroism, hope, Japanese, love, mateship, memory, national spirit, survival, war

General Capabilities

Critical and creative thinking, Ethical understanding, Information and communication technology, Intercultural understanding, Literacy, Personal and social

Cross-curriculum Priorities

Asia and Australia's engagement with Asia

Notes

  • Dedication: For prisoner san byaku san ju go (335)
  • Epigraph:

    A bee

    staggers out

    of the peony.

    – Basho

  • Epigraph: Mother, they write poems. -Paul Celan
  • On 15 March 2018, it was announced that FremantleMedia had secured the television rights to the novel, but no further information on the adaptation had been released.

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

    • Sydney, New South Wales,: Random House , 2013 .
      image of person or book cover 4695875357608800097.jpg
      Cover image courtesy of publisher.
      Extent: 480p.
      Note/s:
      • Publication date: 23 September 2013
      ISBN: 9781741666700
    • London,
      c
      England,
      c
      c
      United Kingdom (UK),
      c
      Western Europe, Europe,
      :
      Chatto and Windus ,
      2014 .
      image of person or book cover 9204154548041508837.jpg
      Cover image courtesy of publisher.
      Extent: 448p.
      Note/s:
      • Publication date: 03 July 2014
      ISBN: 9780701189051
    • North Sydney, North Sydney - Lane Cove area, Sydney Northern Suburbs, Sydney, New South Wales,: Random House Australia , 2014 .
      image of person or book cover 8827421877792129645.jpg
      This image has been sourced from online.
      Extent: 467p.
      Note/s:
      • Published November 2014
      ISBN: 9780857980366
    • North Sydney, North Sydney - Lane Cove area, Sydney Northern Suburbs, Sydney, New South Wales,: Random House Australia , 2014 .
      image of person or book cover 381526405111472686.jpg
      This image has been sourced from online.
      Extent: 496p.
      Edition info: Commemorative Edition
      Note/s:
      • Published: 1st December 2014
      ISBN: 9780857987921
    • London,
      c
      England,
      c
      c
      United Kingdom (UK),
      c
      Western Europe, Europe,
      :
      Vintage UK ,
      2015 .
      image of person or book cover 8434093239156605766.jpg
      This image has been sourced from online.
      Extent: 448p.p.
      Note/s:
      • Published 26 March 2015.
      ISBN: 9780099593584
    • New York (City), New York (State),
      c
      United States of America (USA),
      c
      Americas,
      :
      Vintage ,
      2015 .
      image of person or book cover 694142384872964459.jpg
      This image has been sourced from online.
      Extent: 397p.p.
      Note/s:
      • Publication date 14 April 2015 
      ISBN: 9780804171472, 0804171475
      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: De smalle weg naar het verre noorden
Language: Dutch
    • Antwerp, Belgium, Western Europe, Europe,: De Bezige Bij , 2014 .
      image of person or book cover 7229743052354676829.jpg
      This image has been sourced from online.
      Extent: 388p.
      Note/s:
      • Published 16 August 2014
      ISBN: 9789085425700, 9085425700

Other Formats

  • Sound recording.
  • Large print.

Works about this Work

War and Communities of Suffering : Richard Flanagan, The Narrow Road to the Deep North Susan Strehle , 2020 single work criticism
— Appears in: Contemporary Historical Fiction, Exceptionalism and Community : After the Wreck 2020; (p. 77-102)
'War emerges from, rests on, and exaggerates state exceptionalism. It requires patriotic fervor, including beliefs that "our" state must be defended at all costs, that its aggressions are justified by its uniqueness and value, and that exceptional times require exceptional measures. Without exceptionalism, going to war makes no sense; it costs too much in human lives as well as capital. Exceptionalism flourishes in wartime, shared by every state that is party to the conflict; it leads young men and women to volunteer for service that may maim or kill them. States of war arouse racial and cultural prejudice against the Others with whom "our" nation fights, leading to sites of exception like the internment camps for Japanese-Americans in the U.S. during World War II, concentration camps for Jews and Roma in Europe, and camps for prisoners of war in many global locations. States at war become quintessential states of exception, making it possible for some deeply partisan warriors to disavow their violations of national and international law and basic human rights. Since "our" state is the uniquely correct alternative to all other failed states (which claim the same exceptional status), everything is at stake and anything is allowed.' (Introduction)
 
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)

Modern Times : The Great Australian Novel Andrew Hunter , 2019 single work column
— Appears in: The Adelaide Review , November no. 477 2019; (p. 14)
"Out of the tear drenched land": Transnational Sites of Memory in 'The Narrow Road to the Deep North' Liliana Zavaglia , 2018 single work criticism
— Appears in: Richard Flanagan : Critical Essays 2018; (p. 193-219)
"Fireless flame gone amorous": War amid Love in 'The Narrow Road to the Deep North' Nicholas Birns , 2018 single work criticism
— Appears in: Richard Flanagan : Critical Essays 2018; (p. 179-191)
Poetry without a Shred of Pity Geordie Williamson , 2013 single work review
— Appears in: The Weekend Australian , 28-29 September 2013; (p. 21)

— Review of The Narrow Road to the Deep North Richard Flanagan , 2013 single work novel
Light and Shadow Peter Conrad , 2013 single work review
— Appears in: The Monthly , October no. 94 2013; (p. 60-65)

— Review of The Narrow Road to the Deep North Richard Flanagan , 2013 single work novel ; Eyrie Tim Winton , 2013 single work novel
Barometer of Torment Morag Fraser , 2013 single work review
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 12 October 2013; (p. 30-31)

— Review of The Narrow Road to the Deep North Richard Flanagan , 2013 single work novel
Elusive Nobility James Ley , 2013 single work review
— Appears in: Australian Book Review , October no. 355 2013;

— Review of The Narrow Road to the Deep North Richard Flanagan , 2013 single work novel
The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flanagan Romy Ash , 2013 single work review
— Appears in: The Guardian Australia , 29 October 2013;

— Review of The Narrow Road to the Deep North Richard Flanagan , 2013 single work novel
A Ragged Pair of Claws Stephen Romei , 2013 single work column
— Appears in: The Weekend Australian , 21-22 September 2013; (p. 19)
Freeing My Father Richard Flanagan , 2013 single work column
— Appears in: Good Weekend , 21 September 2013; (p. 24-25) The Canberra Times , 21 September 2013;
War through Prism of Love Blanche Clark , 2013 single work interview
— Appears in: The Courier-Mail , 21-22 September 2013; (p. 19)
A Ragged Pair of Claws Stephen Romei , 2013 single work column
— Appears in: The Weekend Australian , 12-13 October 2013; (p. 19)
This One's Personal Phil Brown , 2013 single work column
— Appears in: Brisbane News , 16-22 October no. 953 2013; (p. 12)
Last amended 22 Jan 2021 11:17:03
Settings:
  • Burma-Thailand Railway,
    c
    Burma,
    c
    Southeast Asia, South and East Asia, Asia,
  • 1943
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