The Sound of One Hand Clapping

Richard Flanagan

‘Flanagan’s enthralling and powerful novel centres on a Slovenian couple, Bojan and Maria Buloh, and their daughter Sonja. The story begins in 1954, when Sonja is three, and ends in 1990, when she is in her late thirties . . . The novel begins with Maria Buloh . . . leaving the wooden hut in the Tasmanian highlands which is now her home. A blizzard is blowing, and behind Maria three-year-old Sonja cries for her to come back – but she does not . . . To understand why Maria leaves her child is to understand a little the impact of Nazi occupation on those who were scarred for the rest of their lives by what they had seen . . . The novel lives by its moments of defining truth’ Helen Dunmore, The Times

‘Like Carol Shield’s The Stone Diaries, The Sound of One Hand Clapping achieves the difficult task of making clear and real the lives of those who normally stay hidden in history. From its wonderfully atmospheric opening to its touching conclusion, this is a heartbreaking story, beautifully told’ Literary Review

‘Richly imagined . . . told in a voice rarely heard in Australia: almost violently masculine, shot through with heartbreaking delicacy of feeling’ Robert Dessaix


Genre: Fiction
ISBN: 978033035292501
Published: 12/03/1999

Richard Flanagan

Richard Flanagan

Richard Flanagan is an author, historian and film director. He was born in Tasmania in 1961, and studied at Oxford University as a Rhodes scholar. His first novel, The Death of a River Guide, won major Australian literary prizes, and his second, Sound of One Hand Clapping, was similarly well received, both in his home country and abroad. It was later turned into a feature film, which Flanagan himself directed. He currently lives in Tasmania with his wife and three children.

View author