14 December 2017, The Tablet

The ‘I’s Have It


Four years ago, the Australian term “selfie” was unanimously agreed upon as the Oxford English Dictionary’s “word of the year”. At the time, I remember speculating on its extinction.

A year later, Tasmanian Richard Flanagan won the 2014 Man Booker Prize with The Narrow Road to the Deep North despite, not because of, the fact it’s an eminently readable love story intertwined with a harrowing account of the soul-atomising savagery inflicted on Allied prisoners forced to work on Burma’s notorious “Death Railway” during the Second World War.

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