You’ll remember that I told you last month that Nisha and I are reading all 51 of the former Booker/Man Booker winners as part of the 50th anniversary celebrations of the prize. Jonathan Taylor, who was at Booker in the 1960s when the prize was first launched, has since agreed to read the first decade’s worth, which will give us yet another perspective on books published half a century ago.  

A record number of you contacted me as a result to say that you thought this was a terrific idea; I wonder if any of you actually took up my challenge to join us….  

Worry not if you didn’t because you’ll soon have an expert opinion on all the winners, decade by decade, thanks to the Golden Man Booker campaign we launched this month. 

Hannah tells you more here but in a nutshell it’s going to be a brilliant test of which of the winners have stood the test of time. Amazingly all 51 books are still in print which is in part of course because they were good enough to win in the first place. But how do they read today? It’s a tangible example of the power of awards, and of ‘the Booker’ in particular.

It’s still not too late for you to decide to join us, of course. 51 books to read by early July? It’s a snip. 

Literary prizes have been the flavour of the month for us at Four Culture in February, with the announcement of the shortlist for the International Prize for Arabic Fiction, IPAF, last week. Hannah was in Amman to handle the shortlist press conference which for the first time included two first-time novelists.

It’s marvellous to see how within just over a decade, IPAF has become a significant player in the international awards arena. Read more here

Talking of international, we are thrilled to have been appointed by our long-term client, Macmillan, to handle the UK publication of what is bound to be one of the most talked about books of the year – James Comey’s A Higher Loyalty. Comey of course is the former FBI Director who was famously ‘let go’ by President Trump last year. It’s just as well that we know how to handle hot stories and controversy. Read more here

Finally, I have to say how pleased we are to be supporting James MacManus’ latest novel, Ike and Kay, which comes out next week. James is a terrific writer who takes fact and weaves it into compelling fiction.

Ike and Kay is a vivid reimagining of General Eisenhower and his driver, Kay Summersby’s, infamous love affair in London during World War II. It’s well worth reading – even if you have signed up for the Man Booker 50 challenge! 

I wish I had time to tell you more about Four Culture this month but I need to get back to my books – 43 to go; four months to do it ….

All best and more in March.