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Booker Prize winner Richard Flanagan for Question 7

Monday 3rd June

Topping & Company Booksellers of Bath, York Street, Bath, Somerset BA1 1NG
Doors Open
Start Time

'Richard Flanagan’s Question 7 is the strangest and most beautiful memoir I’ve ever read. Magnificent.’ ~ Tim Winton, ‘Best Reads of the Year’

'[Reading Question 7 was an] experience felt almost in the body. It holds a life between its covers and while you read, it holds you too. A celebration of all life, it is also a reckoning with the 20th century and what it revealed about us to ourselves... It nudges at eternity, and then comes back home, to decency and love.’ ~ Anna Funder, Wifedom

Richard Flanagan has been described as ‘one of our greatest living novelists’ (Washington Post). He won the 2014 Man Booker Prize for The Narrow Road to the Deep North and the Commonwealth Prize for Gould’s Book of Fish. Now he joins us for his genre-busting memoir in which love, family and nuclear fission collide.

The summer after I died, I returned as a ghost.

By way of H. G. Wells and Rebecca West’s affair through 1930s nuclear physics to Flanagan's father working as a slave labourer near Hiroshima when the atom bomb is dropped, this daisy chain of events reaches fission when Flanagan as a young man finds himself trapped in a rapid on a wild river not knowing if he is to live or to die.

The title of this book takes from a riddle by Chekhov, which asks, insistently: who loves longer? Flanagan answers with a passionate song to his island home and his parents, and to the history that delivered him to his place. A hypnotic melding of memory and history, science and dream, he shows, dazzlingly, how our lives so often arise out of the stories of others and the stories we invent about ourselves.

Memory is as much an act of creation as it is of testimony... one without the other is a tree without its trunk, wings without a bird, a book without its story .

Beginning by Japan’s Inland Sea and ending by a river in Tasmania, Flanagan’s astonishing new book Question 7 is about the choices we make about love and the chain reaction that follows.