We are delighted to announce that First Person -- Richard Flanagan’s first novel since winning the Man Booker Prize in 2014 -- is to be published in Australia in October this year by Penguin Random House Australia, and in Britain in November by Chatto & Windus, with Alfred A Knopf in the US publishing in April 2018 and other countries following over the course of next year.
Written in the first person by a reality TV producer, Kif Kehlmann, First Person is Kif’s recollection of how as a younger, penniless writer, unable to finish his first novel, he agrees to ghost write the memoir of a notorious con man, Ziggy Heidl, who has defrauded the banks of $700 million.
He has six weeks to write the book, for which he'll receive $10,000. But as the work gets under way, Kehlmann begins to fear that he is being corrupted by the con man. He grows ever more uncertain as to whether he is ghost writing a memoir, or if Ziggy Heidl is rewriting him—his life, his future. At the novel’s heart is a question: what is the truth?
Penguin Random House Australia’s Group Publishing Director, Nikki Christer, says: ‘Richard Flanagan’s last book dealt with the past. His new book deals with the possible future. If you want to know where alternative facts, fake identities and charismatic charlatans might lead us all, this is the book to read. First Person will be a major literary and publishing event.’
Clara Farmer, Publishing Director at Chatto & Windus (UK), says: ‘A stunning novel and a deadly ride, to read First Person is to be left haunted. Here is a story of what happens when evil is close by – and Richard Flanagan’s novel unfurls with the flair and energy of a novelist at the height of his powers.’
Diana Miller, Senior Editor at Alfred A Knopf (USA), says: ‘Richard Flanagan has given us a sly, razor-sharp novel about truth, power, and the very nature of writing. It’s a core-shaking commentary on the world we live in, and a book only Richard could have written. His command and range are on full display here.’