Ashamed to be Australian: Man Booker winner Richard Flanagan

Zee Media Bureau

New Delhi: Noted author Richard Flanagan, who won the Man Booker prize 2014 for his book 'The Narrow Road to the Deep North', recently criticised the Australian government for its environmental policies.

Speaking in an interview, the award winning novelist said, "Australia has the most extraordinary environment and I don't understand why our government seems committed to destroying what we have that's unique in the world.... To be frank, I'm ashamed to be Australian when you bring this up."

Flanagan has been a long-time campaigner for the preservation of old growth forest in Tasmania where he lives. The critique comes due to the fact that Australia remains one of the worst polluters in the world with dependancy on coal and mineral exports.

He is the third Australian to win the prestigious literary award. Arts Minister George Brandis showered praise on the writer, even with the criticism.

The minister had said, "This accolade recognises not only Richard's wonderful writing and imagination, but is a reflection of the quality of Australian literature."

Richard Flanagan had worked on his prize winning book for over a decade and the book was based on his fathers experiences as a prisoner of war.