|The Guardian publica o istorie in anecdote a celor 40 ani de Booker Prize:
1993 Gillian Beer
Olivier Todd, the French novelist, shrugged his shoulders at our second judges' meeting: no lunches with publishers, no approaches from agents, he complained - what an odd English bubble of propriety we were gathered inside. He was joking, but only just. And it is one of the remarkable things about being a Booker judge that no one tempts you with hospitality. You simply sit and read, and talk, and read again, over several months. The pleasure is in the reading, and in the talk. One of the rewards of going to see a new film is the conversation straight after, but reading new novels can be a lonely business.
In 1993 I remember impassioned defences of books one of us had grown attached to, but no quarrels, just engrossing talk. Our chair, Grey Gowrie, came up with an ingenious criterion: novels must have "radioactivity" to stay in the running. He meant we must remember them weeks, months later. They mustn't fade. A self-proving criterion perhaps, but reassuring.