John Carey is one of Britain’s most distinguished academics and literary critics, who has managed to combine scholarly rigour with invigorating attacks on elitist views of high culture.

Carey is a life-long Oxford don: even in retirement he is emeritus Merton Professor of English Literature. Although he has specialised in the poetry of John Milton and John Donne (and the 1980 Booker Prize winner William Golding) he is perhaps better known as a witty provocateur through such works as The Intellectuals and the Masses (1992), a study of the snootiness of Modernist writers, and What Good Are the Arts? (2005).

Carey has not only chaired the Booker Prize panel twice (1982 and 2004) but also the inaugural Man Booker International Prize 2005. 


Between 2005 - 2015, the Man Booker International Prize recognised one writer for their achievement in fiction.

Worth £60,000, the prize was awarded every two years to a living author who had published fiction either originally in English or whose work is generally available in translation in the English language.

The winner was chosen solely at the discretion of the judging panel and there were no submissions from publishers.

The Man Booker International Prize was different from the annual Man Booker Prize for Fiction in that it highlighted one writer’s overall contribution to fiction on the world stage. In focusing on overall literary excellence, the judges considered a writer’s body of work rather than a single novel.