Project Description

Boyd Tonkin

Boyd Tonkin is an author, critic, journalist and broadcaster in London, and the 2020 winner of the Royal Society of Literature’s Benson Medal for a lifetime’s ‘outstanding service to literature,’ following recipients including Philip Larkin and Tolkien. His prolific writing on books, art and classical music appears widely, including in The Economist, Financial Times, Spectator, New Scientist, New York Review of Books and theartsdesk.com. Until 2016 he was The Independent’s Senior Writer and Art Critic after 17 years as Literary Editor, re-founding in 2001 the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize. This unique prize for best novel of the year in English translation, split equally between author and translator, became the model for the Man Booker International Prize with which it merged in 2015, and for which he served as the Special Adviser and inaugural chair of judges. The 100 Best Novels in Translation (Galileo Publishing, 2018), his critical book spanning four centuries of global fiction, was admired by novelist Ian McEwan as a ‘brilliant and extremely useful guide’, by Ben Okri as the work of a ‘wonderful, thoughtful and conscientious critic’, and by Victoria Hislop as ‘a towering achievement.’ He took part in Where Europe Meets Asia: Georgia 25. Boyd’s chosen book on BBC Radio 4’s A Good Read in 2020 was Tolstoy’s novella Hadji Murat, set in the Caucasus. Twitter: @BoydTonkin

Saturday 27 February – 17.00 – 18.15

Sunday 28 February – 16.45- 17.30