From article published today in The Guardian:
"Stothard's speech droned on and on about the dire situation of publishing today. He had a chance to change things, ever so slightly, but shirked it, instead rewarding the biggest-selling author on the shortlist, from the biggest publishing conglomerate. Someone pointed out at the Hilary Mantel Booker party in Soho afterwards that Fourth Estate is owned by Rupert Murdoch, who hardly needs, or deserves, more honours. (Yes, I am a hypocrite, I was there. If you can't beat 'em, drink their free champagne.)
This is the kind of conversation that could have been avoided if someone other than Mantel had won this year's Booker. Everyone involved in publishing – writers, agents, publishers, small presses, readers – would have been better for it. Instead, Stothard and co reminded us that literary prizes are just as staid as the industry that produces them. Instead of hope, a bitter aftertaste lingers."
- Jacques Testard
Wow. What do you know. Exactly what I was saying all along, that the Man Booker Prize is an artificial honor dedicated to supporting the status quo.
Here's more of the article.
Good to know I'm not alone, that my opinion is shared by others interested in the world of literature, the future of publishing and daring to go against the grain by choosing "winners" outside the mainstream. Seems to me Stothard could have gone a long way toward practicing what he preached and he totally dropped the ball.
Further proof my sense of him was correct. What a putz. Here he is bashing Ian Rankin, another blockbuster best-selling author (WITH ONE HELL OF A LOT OF TALENT) and he gives the prize to Mantel?
What a joke: the man and the prize.
Photo credit: Ray Tang/Rex