April 10, 2015

Booker losses: Ion Trewin and Martyn Goff have passed away


Man-Booker-International-Prize-LogoIon Trewin, journalist-turned-publisher and director of the Man Booker Prize, has passed away at 71. He was diagnosed with cancer last October, but continued to work with the committee through the 2015 prize.

Martyn Goff, Trewin’s colleague who worked on the Booker for 34 years, passed away at the end of March. He was 91. Trewin’s last assignment as a journalist was writing Goff’s obituary.

The point of the Booker, in Trewin’s words, was to “get literary fiction out to a large audience.” When Rushdie criticized the committee for focusing on “page-turners,” he defended the prize, calling it “Richard and Judy for grown-ups.”

He was also a part of the controversial decision to open up the Booker Prize to Americans in 2013. Before that, he was literary editor at the Times (UK), publishing director at Weidenfeld & Nicholson, and biographer of the politician Alan Clark.

The chairman of the Booker, Jonathan Taylor, said Trewin would be missed. “He helped guide the Man Booker Prize through evolution and development while ensuring stability, continuity and, most important, an effective, efficient, independent judging process.”



Kirsten Reach is an editor at Melville House.