First fully in-person ceremony since 2019 will bring together Booker Prize writers past and present with a diverse range of readers, including Her Majesty The Queen Consort, Dua Lipa and the inaugural winners of the Booker Prize Book Club Challenge, in an evening hosted by comedian Sophie Duker
The winner announcement will be broadcast live from the Roundhouse on Monday October 17 2022 as part of a Front Row special on BBC Radio 4 (airing at the later time of 9.15pm), presented by Samira Ahmed, with TV coverage expected to run live on the BBC News Channel, BBC World News and with highlights on the BBC News at Ten.
Today, October 10, 2022, one week ahead of the winner announcement, the Booker Prize unveils the programme for its new-look, vibrant winner ceremony, designed to celebrate and connect this year’s Booker writers with a wide range of readers.
This year’s event, which will take place at the Roundhouse, Camden, is fully in-person for the first time since 2019. As part of an ongoing partnership between the Booker Prize Foundation and the BBC, the last 45 minutes of the evening will be broadcast live as a Front Row special on BBC Radio 4 – moved, in these exceptional circumstances, to a later time of 9.15-10.00pm BST, and presented by Samira Ahmed.
In addition, TV coverage is expected to run live on the BBC News Channel, BBC World News and with highlights on the BBC News at Ten.
Shortlisted authors NoViolet Bulawayo, Percival Everett, Shehan Karunatilaka, Claire Keegan and Elizabeth Strout will all be in attendance, with Alan Garner attending virtually. Samira Ahmed will speak with this year’s Chair of judges, Neil MacGregor, before he announces the winner of the £50,000 Booker Prize 2022, chosen in collaboration with his fellow judges: academic and broadcaster Shahidha Bari; historian Helen Castor; novelist and critic M. John Harrison; and novelist, poet and professor Alain Mabanckou.
The winner will be presented with the Booker Prize trophy by Her Majesty The Queen Consort, in one of her first public engagements since the change in reign. Her Majesty has an enduring interest in literacy and reading. In her role as Duchess of Cornwall, Her Majesty was a long-standing Patron of National Literacy Trust (NLT) and championed Books Unlocked, which is delivered by NLT in partnership with the Booker Prize Foundation. Her Majesty’s book club, ‘The Reading Room’ has featured Booker nominated authors and helps readers and non-readers alike find and connect with books they will love.
The winner of the Booker Prize 2021, Damon Galgut will pass on the baton by presenting the winner with their prize money.
The evening will be hosted by stand-up comedian and writer, Sophie Duker. Winner of the 2021 Funny Women Best Comedy Writer Award, Duker is the series champion of the much-loved Taskmaster series 13 (Channel 4), and her specialist subject on Celebrity Mastermind was Alan Bennett’s play The History Boys.
Roundhouse Resident Artist and Amy Winehouse Foundation alumna India Shan will be treating guests to her limber, jazz-inflected tones, as heard on her recent single ‘Don’t Wanna’. Born and raised in North West London, her influences range from R&B to hip hop.
As part of the Front Row programme, Dua Lipa, best known as a world-renowned singer-songwriter, but also a passionate advocate of books and reading will deliver a keynote on how a love of reading has shaped her imagination, her identity, and her career as a global pop superstar. She has championed many Booker books from A Fine Balance to Girl, Woman, Other.
Meanwhile, Samira Ahmed will interview British-Turkish author Elif Shafak, who appeared on the Booker Prize shortlist in 2019 with Salman Rushdie, about what the attack on his life means for writers around the world, and the ceremony will also acknowledge the extraordinary achievement of the late double-Booker winner Hilary Mantel.
The event will also be attended by the winners of the inaugural Booker Prize Book Club Challenge. The Booker Prize recently partnered with the national charity The Reading Agency to select six groups to read and discuss a different book on the 2022 shortlist, and compete for places at the winner ceremony for the first time.
The winning group will be chosen by the Booker Prize 2022 judging panel.
Mermade Films was commissioned by the Booker Prize Foundation to create 12 black and white films, six of which will be shown at the ceremony. Directed by Kevin Thomas, each features an extract from a shortlisted book, read by some of the world’s most recognisable performers:
All the films can be watched on the Booker Prizes website and YouTube channel now.
This year, for the first time in decades, the original Booker Prize trophy is being reinstated - in memory of its creator, the beloved children’s author and illustrator Jan Pieńkowski, who died in February this year. The trophy was originally commissioned by Booker Prize founder Tom Maschler from Jan, who based it on an art deco lamp he found in a junk shop in Portobello Market. It was first awarded to PH Newby, in whose home it has played the role of plant stand and key holder, and whose wife painted it gold.
The Booker Prize 2022 trophy is based on a 3-D scan of the one awarded to PH Newby, whose daughter, Sarah Schenk, kindly lent it for scanning. The futuristic process was orchestrated – and the trophy produced - by the Factum Foundation, known for previously producing a facsimile of the Tomb of Tutankhamun, whose recording specialists scanned the trophy using photogrammetry at their ArchiOx project in the Bodleian Library. The original trophy was over 60cm tall. The 2022 trophy will be rematerialised as a 3D print at a height of 38cm and painted gold. The winner will in due course receive the new trophy in gold-coloured pewter. After the ceremony, Booker Prize readers will be invited to take part in a competition to name the new trophy.
Also to be presented on the night are this year’s six bespoke bound books, created for the shortlisted authors by individual makers who are members of Designer Bookbinders. These have been created by Kaori Maki (Glory by NoViolet Bulawayo); Kate Holland (The Trees by Percival Everett); Dominic Riley (Treacle Walker by Alan Garner); Lester Capon (The Seven Moons of Maali Almeida by Shehan Karunatilaka); Angela James (Small Things Like These by Claire Keegan); and Rachel Ward-Sale (Oh William! by Elizabeth Strout).
Ahead of the winner ceremony, there are plenty of opportunities for readers to get to know the shortlisted authors and their books. BBC Radio 4’s Front Row is airing interviews with each of the authors Monday to Thursday from October 5 to October 13. In an event held in partnership with Waterstones, the writers will appear in conversation at the Shaw Theatre in Kings Cross, London, on Friday October 14, chaired by broadcaster and journalist Bidisha. The following day, on Saturday October 15, the shortlisted authors will take part in The Times & The Sunday Times Cheltenham Literature Festival in an event chaired by Director of the Booker Prize Foundation, Gaby Wood. After the announcement, the first public event with the Booker Prize 2022 winner takes place on Thursday October 20 at Southbank Centre’s Queen Elizabeth Hall as part of London Literature Festival 2022, alongside 2021 Booker winner Damon Galgut and chaired by novelist Sara Collins.
First awarded in 1969, The Booker Prize is recognised as the leading prize for literary fiction written in English. The list of former winners features many of the literary giants of the last five decades: from Iris Murdoch to Salman Rushdie, V.S. Naipaul to Hilary Mantel. The Booker Prize is supported by Crankstart, a charitable foundation. The winner can expect instant international recognition. The 2021 Booker Prize for Fiction was won by Damon Galgut with The Promise. In the two weeks after it won the 2021 Booker Prize The Promise sold 1,925% more copies in the UK than it had in the previous two weeks. According to The Bookseller, in the 12 weeks after his win, Galgut sold more copies of his books that he had in the previous 17 years since first being published in the UK. Rights to The Promise have been sold in 35 territories.
A deep dive into the shortlisted books and the Booker Library
Discover more about this year’s longlist and shortlist on the Booker prize website. Extracts from all of the nominated titles as well as comprehensive reading guides, revealing interviews with the authors, and insightful essays on their biggest influences can be found on the website. The judges’ explain why you should read the shortlist and readers can go behind the scenes in an exclusive video showing what it’s really like to be a Booker Prize judge. They can also learn more about the books through readers’ Q&A videos with the authors and watch world-class actors read from the shortlist. 2021 winner Damon Galgut talks about his life-changing Booker Prize year. All this and more can be found at thebookerprizes.com
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By Alan Garner
Shehan Karunatilaka’s second novel won the Booker Prize in 2022. It is a mordantly funny satire set amid the murderous mayhem of a Sri Lanka beset by civil war.