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Saturday, July 12, 2008

The secret to winning a Booker

As the whole literary world knows, Sir Salman Rushdie's Midnight's Children has been voted the most-popular-Booker for the second time. So how does he do it? What is the secret to producing an enduring Booker prizewinner? Vincent Dowd of the BBC service speculates on this fascinating matter, after consultation with Martyn Goff, the man who ran the Booker award for 35 years, and it comes down to four basic points:

1. Literary tourism -- the book should transport the reader to a remote time or place where he or she has never been before.

2. Strong plot -- the book must be a page-turner

3. Compelling story writing. There are lots of beautifully written books out there that are not getting much attention, simply because they are not quite engrossing enough. See point 2.

4. Get the book talked about on TV. Tricky to do, but very effective once accomplished.

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