I need to stress a couple of things before we get to the main body of this blog.
1) I am in favour of the ManBooker prize.
2) We will be hosting our Booker Book Club for the second year. More details on our website.
Right. I am not denying the ManBooker judges their right to be ManBooker judges. Oh no. Let's get that straight. They have all individually earned their places. Oh yes.
I just have a couple of observations about the whole Booker thing.
1) There are no fiction authors on the panel.
In case you are interested the panel is chaired by Andrew Motion, former Poet Laureate, and the judges are Rosie Blau, Literary Editor of the Financial Times; Deborah Bull, formerly a dancer, now Creative Director of the Royal Opera House as well as a writer and broadcaster; Tom Sutcliffe, journalist, broadcaster and author and Frances Wilson, biographer and critic.
The Big Booker prize – as I understand it – is a celebration of literary fiction, isn’t it? Surely, then at least one of the judges should be a fiction author. Maybe it should be mandatory for the previous year’s winner to sit in judgement.
Let us examine the judges a little closer
Andrew Motion. No doubt he’s earned his place. Not a fiction author (according to one of my customers “Poetry is Truth” and therefore not fiction). Check out his ‘Selected Poems’ published by Faber and Faber.
Rosie Blau. No doubt she’s earned her place. Not a fiction author, but definitely an expert in the field of literary fiction.
Deborah Bull. No doubt she’s earned her place. Not a fiction author. She has written the ‘Faber Pocket Guide to Ballet’ published by Faber and Faber.
Tom Sutcliffe. No doubt he’s earned his place. Not a fiction author. He has written the ‘Faber Book of Opera’ and ‘Believing in Opera’ both published by Faber and er… Faber.
Frances Wilson. No doubt she’s earned her place. Not a fiction author. She has written ‘The Courtesan's Revenge: The Life of Harriette Wilson, the Woman Who Blackmailed the King’ and ‘The Ballad of Dorothy Wordsworth’ both of which are published by…. Well this is a little embarrassing… Faber and Faber.
Am I missing something?... Oh and....
2) The Faberulous Peter Carey looks favourite to win.
Cynical, me? Wouldn't it be terrible if somebody in the ManBooker organisation read this and took it personally. I'd better not post it.... Oh no I've gone and pressed the button now