2015 Man Booker judges announced

December 12, 2014 at 5:14 pm Leave a comment

The judges for the 2015 Man Booker Prize have been announced.

In the chair next year will be Michael Wood, Professor Emeritus of English and Comparative Literature at Princeton, and father of Gaby Wood who was a judge in 2011.

The other judges are the poet and novelist John Burnside; Sam Leith, Literary Editor of The Spectator; Ellah Allfrey, erstwhile deputy editor of Granta magazine; and Frances Osborne, author, and wife of the current UK Chancellor of the Exchequer.

The longlist will be announced next August – later than in previous years, presumably because of the discontent caused by several of this year’s longlisted titles not being published until September. Let’s hope that by then Mrs Osborne’s husband will have plenty of time to peruse a dozen works of fiction. {Insert your own joke about fictional Budget figures here.}

Novels expected in 2015 include: The Mirror and The Light – the final instalment of Hilary Mantel’s Tudor trilogy; The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro; God Help The Child by Toni Morrison, which includes a character called Booker; A Spool of Blue Thread, which may be Anne Tyler’s final novel; Kate Atkinson’s A God In Ruins, a companion novel to Time After Time; and the print edition of Iain Pears’ digital novel Arcadia. A list of possible contenders is up-and-running at Goodreads.

The judges will read submissions both in hard copy and using iPad Airs, which have been donated by Apple. There’s a cynical, scurrilous, satirical voice in my head saying: well, what do we expect a successful company do? Pay their fair share of tax, or give the Chancellor’s wife a free iPad?

As usual, the winner will be announced at an awards ceremony at London’s Guildhall which will be broadcast live on a channel.the BBC are sure no-one will find – possibly even with sound this year – on October 13th, probably better known in the Osborne household as Lady Thatcher Day.

In case you were wondering, previous years in which the judges have included a Tory politician (or relative thereof) have produced such esteemed winners as The Bone People, Amsterdam, True History of the Kelly Gang and The White Tiger.

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