Reading the Booker

By Katy Stoddard

In a former life I was a librarian at the Guardian, answering queries from journalists and, among other things, blogging historical content from the digital archive. In 2011 I wrote a blogpost about the history of the Booker Prize, the UK’s biggest prize for literature but also its most controversial.

2011 was the year the Booker was criticised for being too mainstream, as if a book cannot be ‘great literature’ and also a cracking read. Some even suggested setting up a new, ‘proper’ literary prize, though in the event the traditionalists prevailed and the prize was awarded to Julian Barnes, the only ‘proper’ author on the shortlist. Continue reading