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The fine art of the literary prize

By Tom Chatfield  

As the judges for the 2009 Booker prize are announced, it’s time, once again, to ponder the merits of the swelling class of event to which it belongs—the modern literary award. Which is exactly what I’ve been doing in an essay for our latest edition. I’m fascinated by the whole notion and culture of the literary prize (indeed, much of the inspiration for my own career began with winning a few local competitions; and I’m one of the judges of the VS Pritchett prize…

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