Most of London and much of Four Colman Getty seems to have decamped to sunnier climes this week. But the last week of July is traditionally the week when the longlist for the Man Booker Prize for Fiction is announced so some of us were here to make sure the news went out last Wednesday. As ever, the coverage has been extensive and has ranged from incredulity – ‘Top British writers squeezed out of Man Booker longlist’ (The Times) to enthusiastic – ‘a longlist about which it is hard not to feel excited’ (The Telegraph).
The Man Booker Prizes have also been much in the news this month with the announcement at the beginning of July that the Man Booker International Prize is to evolve into an annual prize to be awarded to the best work of translated fiction published in the UK. This step, which sees the prize joining forces with the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize, was much welcomed by publishers and the media and will undoubtedly place a much- needed focus on literature in translation here in the UK.
And for those of you who follow Joe Haddow on Radio 2, do look out for our new series of Man Booker podcasts where Joe takes you ‘behind the scenes’ of the prize. Listen to the first episode here and join the conversation at @ManBookerPrize and #FinestFiction.
Another iconic and long-standing client, Agatha Christie, has also been very busy this month with the much heralded launch of a new BBC series. The crime-busting duo, Tommy and Tuppence, made a triumphant return to television last Sunday night in BBC One’s Partners in Crime, starring David Walliams and Jessica Raine.
This is just the beginning of the celebrations for the Queen of Crime’s 125th anniversary year. Not to be missed is an exhibition of rare photographs of Christie’s life – Unfinished Portrait - at the Bankside Gallery (26 August – 6 September) which will then travel to Torquay for the International Agatha Christie Festival (11 – 20 September).
Keen gardeners amongst you will have been aware of the RHS Greening Grey Britain campaign which was launched at the start of RHS Chelsea this year. The campaign, to persuade people to stop paving over their front gardens and get back into gardening, gave us the perfect opportunity to continue our profiling work with Sue Biggs, DG of the RHS.
Sue is a champion of gardening and the many benefits it can bring – not least in terms of personal well-being and the overall benefits to the environment. You’ll be hearing more of this campaign as the UK gradually returns to its green roots….!
That’s all from me this month!