2020 Booker Prize Judge (Chair)
Margaret Busby is an independent editor, writer, broadcaster and critic.
Born in Ghana and educated in the UK, she became the first black woman publisher – and, at the time, the youngest publisher – in Britain when she co-founded Allison and Busby in 1967. Two years later she made history by publishing Sam Greenlee’s much-rejected novel The Spook Who Sat by the Door, which became required reading at the FBI Academy and is thought to have inspired the Blaxploitation genre in American cinema. Busby has contributed to many publications – including the Guardian, Observer, New Statesman and TLS.
She has judged numerous literary prizes, including the Caine Prize, Commonwealth Book Prize, Orange Award for New Writers and the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize. A long-time cultural activist, Busby has worked continuously for diversity within the publishing industry and has been awarded the Royal Society of Literature’s prestigious Benson Medal and the Royal African Society’s inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award. She was appointed OBE for services to literature and publishing in 2006.