Liz Calder in conversation
Too much reading is bad for your health! It can ruin your eyesight and you won't get enough exercise. This was what Liz Calder learned from reading 170 books in nine months as a judge for the Booker Prize last year. And she wouldn't have changed the experience for the world, she said. Though she probably won't do it again!
Liz attracted a large and attentive audience to the bookshop for her visit on a damp, dark January evening. We were gripped by every word as she told us about the authors she'd met and the publishing teams she'd worked with in her extraordinary career.
She was first a 'publicity girl' at Victor Gollancz, then left for Jonathan Cape before co-founding Bloomsbury, the home of 'Harry Potter'. She launched the careers of Salman Rushdie, Julian Barnes, Anita Brookner and helped nurture Jeanette Winterson, Anne Michaels and Angela Carter.
Having lived in Suffolk for 14 years, she founded Full Circle, a publishing company celebrating writing in East Anglia, and she launched the arts festival Flipside.
Last year she was recognised with a CBE, elected an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and awarded the RLS Benson Medal for exceptional service to literature.
She was well qualified to judge the formidable titles longlisted in the 2019 Booker Prize, and we can trust her when she says that the decision to name two winners this year was the right outcome.
It was a fascinating, entertaining and enlightening evening.
Liz commented about her visit:
Thank you very much for that very welcoming event last night. A really
happy atmosphere and I was very touched by the warmth of the audience. It was a treat.