The Australian-born Carmen Callil is a publisher, author and long-term champion of women’s writing. Her feminism, she says, is ‘concentrated on poltroonish men telling you what to do’.
Callil arrived in London in 1960 and, after a spell working for Marks & Spencer, has been in the book business ever since. In 1972, she was a founder of both the feminist magazine Spare Rib and Virago Press, an imprint dedicated to publishing new and neglected women writers. Numerous other publishing roles followed, while Bad Faith, her own book about a French wartime collaborator, was shortlisted for the 2006 Samuel Johnson Prize. Callil was a judge on the 2011 Man Booker International Prize, but resigned in protest when her fellow judges selected Philip Roth. She was born in 1938 and died on October 17 2022.