Booker tightlipped amid speculation Lee Child will judge 2020 prize

Booker tightlipped amid speculation Lee Child will judge 2020 prize

The Booker Prize has remained tightlipped over speculation that Lee Child will join the judging panel for the 2020 prize. 

Child has received an invitation to join the judging panel according to Andy Martin, who has written a book about his time with the author called With Child: Lee Child and the Readers of Jack Reacher (Polity Press). 

Martin told the Sunday Times: “Lee received an invitation to be part of next year’s judging panel and he has said he would like to, as long as he could do most of it from his homes in New York and Wyoming.”

The inclusion of the crime fiction author on the judging panel is yet to be confirmed by the literary prize, but Martin stresses Child, who won Author of the Year at this year's British Book Awards and has sold 13.2 million books for £80m, would be a "natural" judge.

Martin told The Bookseller: "Lee's a natural because he reads so many books already (300 a year roughly). Although he is a commercial writer, there is an intellectual, professorial side to him. As he says, he is '100% commerce, 100% art.'"

The Booker Prize said it is currently unable to comment on the judges for the Booker Prize beyond 2019. The 2020 judges are expected to be announced in December this year. 

The judging for the 2019 prize is underway with the shortlist due to be announced on 3rd September and the winner revealed on 14th October. Hay Festival director Peter Florence leads this year's panel and is joined by former fiction publisher and editor Liz Calder; novelist and filmmaker Xiaolu Guo; writer and broadcaster Afua Hirsch and pianist and composer Joanna MacGregor.

Margaret Atwood is longlisted for this year's £50,000 Booker Prize for her "terrifying and exhilarating" sequel The Testaments (Chatto & Windus) alongside fellow former winner Salman Rushdie, in the first year the prize has been sponsored by charitable foundation Crankstart.