A new film from the British Library features clips from an oral history interview by the Oral History Unit’s Sue Bradley. ‘Behind the Scenes: The Man Booker Prize — Stories from the British Library’s archive‘ is an audio-visual montage created by British Library interviewer Sarah O’Reilly, with voices from in-depth interviews recorded for National Life Stories.
The Booker’s Literary Director Ion Trewin, and writers such as Howard Jacobson, Penelope Lively and Michael Holroyd, were recorded for the Authors Lives collection by Sarah O’Reilly herself. Other interviews included in the film are legendary administrator Martyn Goff, who was interviewed over four years from 1998 by NLS Project Director Cathy Courtney, and former Hampstead bookseller Ian Norrie who was interviewed for Book Trade Lives by Sue Bradley in the spring of 2000.
After watching ‘Behind the Scenes’, Sue said,
‘It’s terrific to hear Ian here. The clips are spot on for the topic and took me right back to that conversation at his dining table in Barnet. I remember some scepticism at the time — although not from Ian, who championed the idea heroically — about the point of archiving oral histories. Would anyone in the future really want to hear this kind of thing? Since then it’s become abundantly clear not just that they do, but that the value and potential of archived interviews keeps on increasing over time.’
‘Behind the Scenes’ can be viewed on YouTube or from the Vintage Man Booker website: https://themanbookerprize.com/goldenmanbooker/vintagemanbooker