Swift 'does not blame' his accuser

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Graham Swift the Booker-prize winning author accused of imitating William Faulkner, says he does not blame his critic, Australian academic Professor John Frow, writes Chris Blackhurst.

Writing in today's Independent on Sunday, Mr Swift argues the proximity in his book Last Orders with Faulkner's As I Lay Dying "is not that important" and that Prof Frow "is entitled to his opinion".

But this is countered by the professor, who maintains "Taken singly, any of these resemblances would be trivial. Taken together, they constitute a likeness to the formal structure of the earlier novel that is more than casual."

In a letter to the Independent on Sunday, A N Wilson, a member of the Booker panel that awarded the prize, claims thathad the critique "been brought to our attention before the meeting, I have no doubt that the 1996 Booker prize would have been awarded to Margaret Atwood".

Focus, page 19

Blake Morrison, Review