21 November 2012
Having been on the judging panel in 2004, he will now lead a panel of five judges in choosing the best book of the year.
Robert Macfarlane comments: ‘I feel very proud indeed to be chairing this prize, which has done so much to shape the modern literary landscape. I look forward greatly – with, it’s true, a dash of trepidation - to the 40,000 or so pages of reading that my fellow judges and I have ahead of us.’
Robert Macfarlane is a Fellow in English at Cambridge University, specialising in contemporary literature, and is well-known both as a critic and writer. He writes regularly on literature, travel and nature for The Guardian and Granta Magazine, among other publications.
He is the author of a number of prize-winning, non-fiction books. Mountains of the Mind: A History of a Fascination (2003) won The Guardian First Book Award, The Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year Award, and a Somerset Maugham Award. The Wild Places followed in 2007 and was adapted for television by the BBC. His latest book The Old Ways: A Journey On Foot (2012) was shortlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction and The Waterstones Book of the Year Award. He is currently writing a book called Underland, about subterranean worlds.
The longlist for the 2013 Man Booker Prize, ‘The Booker Dozen’ – the 12 or 13 titles under serious consideration for the prize - will be announced in July 2013. The shortlist of six titles will be announced in September. The winner of the 2013 Man Booker Prize will be announced at London’s Guildhall at an awards ceremony on 15 October 2013.
The winner of the 2012 Man Booker Prize for Fiction, Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel (Fourth Estate), made history when it was announced last month, making Hilary Mantel the first woman and the first British author to win the prize twice. In the week following the 2012 winner announcement, sales of Bring Up the Bodies increased by 474%, whilst sales of Wolf Hall (the first in the trilogy which won the prize in 2009) had increased by 707%.