21 November 2012
Robert Macfarlane is today, Wednesday 21 November 2012, named as chair of the judges for the 2013 Man Booker Prize for Fiction, the most prestigious award for fiction written in English. Having been on the judging panel in 2004, he will now lead a panel of five judges in choosing the best book of the year.
Robert Macfarlane comments:
‘I feel very proud indeed to be chairing this prize, which has done so much to shape the modern literary landscape. I look forward greatly – with, it’s true, a dash of trepidation - to the 40,000 or so pages of reading that my fellow judges and I have ahead of us.’
Robert Macfarlane is a Fellow in English at Cambridge University, specialising in contemporary literature, and is well-known both as a critic and writer. He writes regularly on literature, travel and nature for The Guardian and Granta Magazine, among other publications.
He is the author of a number of prize-winning, non-fiction books. Mountains of the Mind: A History of a Fascination (2003) won The Guardian First Book Award, The Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year Award, and a Somerset Maugham Award. The Wild Places followed in 2007 and was adapted for television by the BBC. His latest book The Old Ways: A Journey On Foot (2012) was shortlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction and The Waterstones Book of the Year Award. He is currently writing a book called Underland, about subterranean worlds.
The longlist for the 2013 Man Booker Prize, ‘The Booker Dozen’ – the 12 or 13 titles under serious consideration for the prize - will be announced in July 2013. The shortlist of six titles will be announced in September. The winner of the 2013 Man Booker Prize will be announced at London’s Guildhall at an awards ceremony on 15 October 2013.
The winner of the 2012 Man Booker Prize for Fiction, Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel (Fourth Estate), made history when it was announced last month, making Hilary Mantel the first woman and the first British author to win the prize twice. In the week following the 2012 winner announcement, sales of Bring Up the Bodies increased by 474%, whilst sales of Wolf Hall (the first in the trilogy which won the prize in 2009) had increased by 707%.
Notes to Editors
- Photographs of Robert Macfarlane are available from Four Colman Getty
- Each year UK publishers may submit two full-length novels written by a citizen of the Commonwealth, the Republic of Ireland or Zimbabwe and published between 1 October 2012 and 30 September 2013. In addition, any title by an author who has previously won or been shortlisted for the Booker or Man Booker Prize may be submitted.
- The Man Booker Prize for Fiction was first awarded in 1969 and has been sponsored by the Man Group since 2002. The long-term future of the prize was secured in 2011 with the announcement of a renewed 10 year sponsorship from the Man Group. The title ‘Booker Prize’ therefore only applies to prize years 1969 – 2001, before Man Group plc’s sponsorship began. It would be greatly appreciated if you could ensure that your editorial is factually correct by referring to the prize’s full title at least once, if not in the headline, then in your next subsequent mention. For a full history of the prize including previous winners, shortlisted authors and judges visit the website: www.themanbookerprize.com
- The Booker Prize Foundation Advisory Committee, which advises on any changes to the rules and on the selection of the judges, represents all sides of the book world. Its members are: Ion Trewin, Chair (Literary Director, Booker Prize Foundation); Richard Cable, publisher; Mark Chilton, Company Secretary and General Counsel of Booker Group plc; Peter Clarke, Chief Executive, Man; Jonathan Douglas, Director of the National Literacy Trust; Maggie Fergusson, writer and Secretary of the Royal Society of Literature; Basil Comely, BBC TV; Derek Johns, literary agent; Peter Kemp, Chief Fiction Reviewer, The Sunday Times; James Daunt, Managing Director of Waterstone’s; Nigel Newton, publisher; Fiammetta Rocco, literary editor, The Economist (Man Booker International Prize Administrator); Eve Smith (Company Secretary, the Booker Prize Foundation); and Robert Topping; Topping & Company Booksellers.
- The Booker Prize Foundation is a registered charity (no 1090049) which, since 2002, has been responsible for the award of the prize. The trustees of the Booker Prize Foundation are former Chairman of Booker plc, Jonathan Taylor CBE (Chair); Lord Baker of Dorking CH; playwright and President of the Royal Literary Fund, Sir Ronald Harwood CBE; former Chair of the British Council and Principal of Mansfield College, Oxford, Baroness Kennedy QC; Professor of Creative Writing, Royal Holloway College University of London and former Poet Laureate, Sir Andrew Motion; broadcaster, James Naughtie; biographer, Victoria Glendinning and former Finance Director of Rentokil plc, Christopher Pearce. Martyn Goff CBE, former Man Booker Prize administrator, is President of the Foundation and Baroness Nicholson of Winterbourne and Baroness Neuberger are Vice Presidents.
- Man is a world-leading alternative investment management business. It has expertise in a wide range of liquid investment styles including managed futures, equity, credit and convertibles, emerging markets, global macro and multi-manager, combined with powerful product structuring, distribution and client service capabilities. As of September 30 2012, Man managed $60 billion.
- The original business was founded in 1783. Today, Man Group plc is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a member of the FTSE 250 Index with a market capitalisation of around £ 1.4 billion. Man is a signatory to the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI). Man also supports many awards, charities and initiatives around the world, including sponsorship of the Man Booker literary prizes. Further information can be found at www.man.com
- Booker is the UK's leading food wholesaler with over 170 branches nationwide. It serves over 350,000 independent businesses
- The Booker Prize Foundation has a longstanding partnership with the RNIB, and the Foundation funds the production by RNIB of the shortlist in formats for the visually impaired including braille, giant print and Talking Books.
- The Booker Prize Archive was given on loan in 2003 to Oxford Brookes University where it now resides
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