I am feeling a little bit fickle today. The reason I think this is all because of The Man Booker. I have to say I was a little disappointed with The Man Booker Prize winning novel this year, without having read it I will freely admit, and the prize in general. Wonderful titles like ‘The Long Song’ and ‘Room’ were included but I couldn’t get passionate about it like I did back in 2009 when ‘Wolf Hall’ won and I read the whole long list. I couldn’t be bothered about reading them all this year (and have culled quite a few of the titles I haven’t read that were in the long and short lists) the prize seemed to be really stuffy and trying to be trendy all at once. Though of course that could just be me who thought that?
However the fickle me is now quite excited about The Man Booker 2011 because of the announcement of the judges earlier today who are author Matthew d’Ancona (who I hadn’t heard of before), author Susan Hill, politician Chris Mullin, Head of Books at The Telegraph Gaby Wood and Dame Stella Rimmington who was the head . Rather an eclectic mix don’t you think?
I don’t know two of the judges, sorry, but the other three I am really intrigued and pleased about. I am not majorly into politics but I am a big fan of Chris Mullin and his political views so that’s endeared me to him, we have something in common to a degree, though I do wonder if people will be a bit ‘why is a politician judging a book prize’? I am of course ecstatic that one of my favourite authors Susan Hill is one of the judges I need say no more. The one I am most excited about is Dame Stella Rimmington… because she worked for blinking MI5!!! I wonder if this could be the year for crime appearing more heavily on the list with her and Susan Hill at the helm.
Interestingly as ‘The Green Carnation Prize 2010’ draws to a close with the winner announced next Wednesday and yet we are already working on ‘The Green Carnation Prize 2011’ and currently its judges, some of us are staying and some sadly just have too manic a year but maybe joining as ‘guest judges’ after longlists and shortlists are announced, it’s a different way forward for a judging panel but will mean new insights at each stage and yet some of the same faces year by year. So we have been looking at who we should approach and why which has had me thinking a lot about judges and their appeal, so I thought I might ask you your thoughts!
Does who is on a panel affect what you think of an award? Can certain judges endear you and if so why? Would any particular people put you off? Who, if you created an award for books, would you love to have on your five piece judging panel along side you and why?