Question 7

Question 7


'A work of non-fiction . . . but it has all the complexity of emotional heft of a great novel . . . Question 7 sets the high-water mark for what the genre [of memoir] can be' Sunday Times

'There’s so much . . . in Flanagan’s beautiful, unclassifiable novel-cum-memoir . . . That it is a masterpiece is without question' Observer

This is a book about the choices we make and the chain reaction that follows . . .

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 a young man finds himself trapped in a rapid on a wild river, not knowing if he is to live or to die.

Flanagan has created a love song to his island home and his parents and the terrible past that delivered him to that place.

Through a hypnotic melding of dream, history, science, and memory, Question 7 shows how our lives so often arise out of the stories of others and the stories we invent about ourselves.

I was fascinated, troubled, and enchanted by this strange and extraordinary work... I can think of nothing else quite like it’ Sarah Perry

‘Mighty in its rage and tenderness: his most momentous book yet’ Laura Cumming

'Spectacular . . . It seems to me a book that will have an overwhelming effect on readers. It certainly did on me' Colm Tóibín

'Question 7 could be Richard Flanagan’s greatest yet' Guardian

Fiercely alive and genuinely hard to put down’ Mark Haddon

Richard Flanagan, Winner of the Booker Prize 2014


  • Question 7 is the greatest memoir of parents and place I have read - and this is hardly to touch on its originality. I was amazed by its intense moral and emotional rigour, its power of compassion, the strength and beauty of the prose. I would take it up, read a page, sometimes just a paragraph, and find I had to set it down, dazed, to think about every word and idea before I could even begin to go on. Devastating and beautiful, mighty in its rage and tenderness: his most momentous book yet’
    Laura Cumming, author of Thunderclap

About the author

Richard Flanagan

Richard Flanagan has been described by the Washington Post as ‘one of our greatest living novelists’ and as ‘among the most versatile writers in the English language’ by the New York Review of Books. He won the Booker Prize for The Narrow Road to the Deep North and the Commonwealth Prize for Gould’s Book of Fish.

A major television series of The Narrow Road to the Deep North is forthcoming, directed by Justin Kurzel and starring Jacob Elordi and Ciarán Hinds.
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