Tim Parks is unique among Booker Prize authors in also being shortlisted for a major sports book prize (for A Season with Verona) and a health book prize (for Teach Us to Sit Still).
Parks has lived in Italy for some four decades, where he is a keen observer of, among other things, the quirks of Italian life, the university world (he is a professor in Milan) and football. He was Booker Prize longlisted for the second time (Europa was shortlisted in 1997) with Judge Savage in 2003.
The novel looks at the troubled life of a judge in a northern town and is inflected with the author’s knowledge of languages - he is a prize-winning translator - and his personal experience of outsiderdom. Returning to England for its setting was not a problem since, as Parks says, ‘Any country contains many worlds.’