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Rule of six: the shortlisted Booker authors (top L-R): Douglas Stuart, Diane Cook, Avni Doshi, (bottom L-R) Brandon Taylor, Maaza Mengiste and Tsitsi Dangarembga at the Roundhouse in London on November 19th 2020. Credit: David Parry/PA Wire

Rule of six: the shortlisted Booker authors (top L-R): Douglas Stuart, Diane Cook, Avni Doshi, (bottom L-R) Brandon Taylor, Maaza Mengiste and Tsitsi Dangarembga at the Roundhouse in London on November 19th 2020. Credit: David Parry/PA Wire

Eyes on the prize: my year as a Booker judge

My task for 2020 was to help choose the best novel in English—and retain my sanity

The first time I was asked to judge the Booker Prize, I said no. I was too busy with my day job here at Prospect, and desperately wanted to finish a novel that I had spent years working on. Three years later, the call came again. I still had the job and was starting my second book. Oh, and my wife and I were expecting our first baby…

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