Michiko Kakutania New York Times
Although the basic outlines of this story come from Heinrich Böll’s novel The Lost Honour of Katharina Blum, written in response to the terrorism scares that Germany suffered in the late 1960s and ’70s, Mr. Flanagan has turned the story into an armature for a brilliant meditation upon the post-9/11 world, a globalized world in which fear is a valued commodity for terrorists and governments alike, a world in which rumors and misinformation circumnavigate the globe in the flash of an eye, and narratives — constructed by politicians and tabloid reporters, and avidly consumed by a spectacle-hungry populace — replace facts and truths. Identity has become a commodity and construct in this world: something that can be manufactured, stolen or counterfeited.
On Tasmanian Times:
Richard Flanagan Archive, including, Why I wrote The Unknown Terrorist