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Authors give away PM’s literary prize money

Two authors who won Prime Minister’s Literary Awards have given away their prize money to support programmes that have had their funding cut by the Abbott government.

Tasmanian writer Richard Flanagan, who won the 2014 Mann Booker prize for his novel The Narrow Road to the Deep North, shared Australia’s richest fiction prize with Steven Carroll, author of A World of Other People. During the presentation on 8 December, Flanagan announced he would donate his $40,000 share of the award to the Indigenous Literacy Foundation.

Flanangan’s novel is based on his father’s experience in a prisoner-of-war camp, and he told the awards ceremony audience that his father had taught him that the measure of a civilised society was its willingness to look after its weakest members.

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