Judges' Blog - Raymond Tallis
The most obvious consequence of the privilege of judging the Samuel Johnson Prize is that you are required to read a large number of books you might not otherwise have read. This has been a richly rewarding experience, full of unexpected pleasures, and there are quite a few volumes I have marked for re-reading. I hadn’t been prepared for the sheer quality of the entries – the beauty of much of the writing, the novel approach to the topics covered - and for this reason found narrowing down to a long list and subsequently a short list more difficult than I had expected. The over-riding impression, reflected in a superb short-list, is that the English language is in good hands. Non-fiction is in excellent shape. Fiction should look to its laurels!