This month, after much behind-the-scenes planning by the team, Four Culture launched the Golden Man Booker, a special one-off award that will crown the best work of fiction from the last five decades of the prize.
Since it was first awarded in 1969, the Man Booker Prize has become the leading prize for quality fiction in English, with the winning books setting a benchmark against which other novels are judged. The Golden Man Booker will put all 51 winners – which are all still in print – back under the spotlight, to discover which of them has stood the test of time, remaining relevant to readers today.
Four Culture appointed five high-profile judges, who will each read the winning novels for their assigned decade. They are: writer and editor Robert McCrum (1970s); poet Lemn Sissay MBE (1980s); novelist Kamila Shamsie (1990s); broadcaster and novelist Simon Mayo (2000s); and poet Hollie McNish (2010s). They will select their favourite and the shortlist – the ‘Golden Five’ – will be announced at the Hay Festival in May. Those books will be pitted against each other in a month-long public vote on the Man Booker website to decide the overall winner, which will be announced at the Man Booker 50 Festival at Southbank Centre in July. The prize will be supported by retailers, libraries and publishers across the UK, and internationally through online promotion.
The announcement of the prize led to a flurry of international coverage and much speculation about which book will secure the golden gong – we can’t wait to find out!