Entertainment & Arts

Booker judge Carmen Calil 'withdraws' over Roth win

Carmen Callil
Image caption Carmen Callil was one of three judges on the panel

Author Carmen Callil has "withdrawn" from the Man Booker International prize judging panel over its decision to honour Philip Roth.

She told the Guardian newspaper that she chose to retire because she did not "rate" or "admire" Roth as a writer.

"I didn't want my name attached to it, and retired. You can't be asked to judge, and then not judge," she said.

It was announced on Wednesday that the US writer would receive the award and the £60,000 prize money.

Callil, who founded the feminist publishing house Virago, was one of three judges on the panel, along with author Dr Rick Gekoski and novelist Justin Cartwright.

"Roth goes to the core of their [Cartwright and Gekoski's] beings. But he certainly doesn't go to the core of mine," she said.

Speaking of Roth's writing, which includes Portnoy's Complaint and The Human Stain, Callil said he "goes on and on and on about the same subject in almost every single book. It's as though he's sitting on your face and you can't breathe".

The Man Booker International Prize is presented every two years to a writer for their "achievement in fiction on the world stage".

The award will be presented at a formal dinner in London on 28 June.

Gekoski said the panel had chosen Roth because his books have "stimulated, provoked and amused an enormous, and still expanding, audience."

Roth, 78, said: "This is a great honour and I'm delighted to receive it."

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites