The Man Booker prize-winning author Pat Barker says she “distrusts” London publishing’s recent burst in diversity initiatives, calling the rise in interest in regional and working-class voices a “fashionable” move motivated by fear after the Brexit referendum. Speaking at the Hay festival on Sunday, the Durham author said she had observed an increased appetite for authors based outside London, or from working-class and minority ethnic backgrounds, over the last three years.
“After the Brexit referendum, there was much more interest in regional voices among London-based publishing houses than there had been before. There was this feeling, I think, that London seemed to have been governing a country, or countries, that it knew absolutely nothing about. Suddenly, there was this rather frightening sense of ‘what has been going on out there? Why did nobody tell us?’,” she said. Read More