Peter Kemp is a trenchant literary critic, who was nominated for the 2014 Hatchet Job of the Year award for a review in which he called Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch ‘a turkey’.
A former theatre critic and long-time chief fiction reviewer for the Sunday Times – Kemp is one of the relatively few critics whose approval novelists seek. He has edited The Oxford Book of Literary Quotations as well studies of H.G. Wells, Muriel Spark and Edith Wharton, and a collection of murder stories with P.D. James. A key part of good fiction reviewing, he says, ‘is a willingness bravely to say something is dreadful, even if that’s in the face of a lot of received wisdom’. Kemp is also a member of the Booker Prize Advisory Committee.