Paul Bailey is a novelist who has appeared twice on the prize shortlist, with Peter Smart's Confessions (1977) and Gabriel's Lament (1986). His experiences as a judge were less happy.

After the award of the 1982 prize to Thomas Keneally and Schindler’s Ark, Bailey wrote, somewhat grouchily: ‘There are many things I regret doing, and being a judge for the Booker Prize is one of them’; he found it ‘a dispiriting experience’. The judges’ picks – Keneally, John Arden, William Boyd, Alice Thomas Ellis, Lawrence Durrell and Timothy Mo – nevertheless constituted a strong year. Bailey has written for both radio and television, and his non-fiction work includes studies of the trailblazing homosexual Quentin Crisp and the brothel madam Cynthia Payne. 

All nominated books

Peter Smart's Confessions
Gabriel's Lament