A memorial service was held this week at St Martin-in-the-Fields for Ion Trewin, the much loved editor, biographer and Literary Director of the Booker Prize Foundation, who died earlier this year. It was a joyous affair, despite the sadness, with a remarkable array of speakers remembering Ion as they knew him.
Man Booker aficionados might remember that last year's winner, Richard Flanagan, was predicted ahead of time by a ‘Mr Smith’, a mystery punter from the north east who claimed not to have read any of the shortlisted books but made his choice on the basis of scouring reviews and examining the judges' Wikipedia pages.
The shortlist is out and the first reactions are in. So what – based on a sample of initial reactions – does the world make of the Man Booker judges' six pick?
Marlon James, Tom McCarthy, Chigozie Obioma, Sunjeev Sahota, Anne Tyler and Hanya Yanagihara are today, Tuesday 15 September, announced as the shortlisted authors for the 2015 Man Booker Prize for Fiction.