The Royal Society of Literature celebrated the late Andrea Levy’s contribution to literature last night, as it elected 45 new Fellows and Honorary Fellows.
Acclaimed actor Adjoa Andoh performed literary readings from the work of RSL Fellow Levy to celebrate her contribution to literature. The Small Island author died from cancer, aged 62, in February.
At last night’s RSL summer party at The Royal Society, St James’s, London, the RSL also elected 45 writers to be this year’s Fellows and Honorary Fellows.
To be elected as a Fellow, a writer must have published at least two works of outstanding literary merit (or equivalent material), in any literary form. The total number of Fellows currently stands at around 600.
Children’s author David Baddiel, historian Mary Beard and Stephen Fry are among the 2019 RSL Fellows. They were elected alongside Hanan al-Shaykh, Monica Ali, Elleke Boehmer, Jez Butterworth, Vahni Capildeo, Debjani Chatterjee, Esther Freud, Peter Gill, Armando Iannucci, Catherine Johnson, Cynan Jones, Olivia Laing, Patrick McGuinness, Jonathan Meades, Sinéad Morrissey, Sarah Moss, Virginia Nicholson, David Olusoga, Susie Orbach, Nina Raine, Denise Riley, Lawrence Scott, Elif Shafak, Nikesh Shukla, Dorothea Smartt and Stella Tillyard.
The Council of the RSL elects as Honorary Fellows those who have rendered special service to the Society, or who have made a significant contribution to the advancement of literature, for example as publishers, agents, booksellers, literature professionals or producers. New Fellows signed the RSL Roll Book using George Eliot’s pen.
The new RSL Honorary Fellows for 2019 (pictured below) are Ellah Wakatama Allfrey, Syima Aslam, Pete Ayrton, Bibi Bakare-Yusuf, Sharmilla Beezmohun, Xandra Bingley, Michael Codron, Dan Franklin, Richard Hollis, Nicholas Hytner, Susheila Nasta, Stephen Page, Stuart Proffitt, William Sieghart, Nicola Solomon and Nicholas Spice.
This year’s Benson Medallist, for exceptional contribution to the advancement of literature, is Susheila Nasta.