Wednesday, July 23, 2008

It seems like only the other day I was in London for the presentation of the 2007 Booker Prize !

Now it's the Man Booker Prize season again with the longlist to be announced on July 29, 2008, and the shortlist on September 9, 2008. The winner will be announced on October 14, 2008.
It seems timely to reproduce an article by D.J.Taylor on the judging process which appeared in The Guardian back on October 14, 2003. I suggest it remains relevant to this day:
Prize fights
Which leading British author reduced two judges to giggles? Which Nobel laureate was dismissed as 'deplorable and dishonest'? And can anyone really read 100 novels in four months? As this year's Booker winner is announced, DJ Taylor offers a glimpse inside the judging room
Feeding frenzy, the post has brought a large brown envelope stuffed with press cuttings gallantly sent out by the prize's PR agency. Last week, when the pile on the dining room table had reached a depth of two inches and the postman could no longer propel what had lately become a bloated parcel through the front door, I decided to sit down and take a look at what the pundits had been saying.
It was an instructive half-hour, spent amid the freshly photocopied outpourings of practically every newspaper in the land and quite a few outside it. Rarely, it seemed, in the field of recent cultural endeavour, had quite so many disparate opinions been brought together under a single harness. On each successive Sunday in the months of August and September, it turned out, Robert McCrum had been regaling readers of the Observer books pages with a Booker prophecy of such staggering inaccuracy ("Amis can still win", etc) that one almost felt like ringing him up to impart a few off-the-record hints.
Link here for Taylor's full piece. It is worth reading. Treat yourself with a few minutes off and enjoy this personal insight.

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