Letter: Elite v. lite

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The Independent Online
OF COURSE the Booker Prize for fiction is a bit of a circus, but at least it is trying to identify the best books.

How will Chris Smith's idea for a downmarket Booker work? ("Smith attacks 'elitist' Booker", 20 September.) Instead of trying to find the best, his judges would have the difficult task of rewarding the second-rate - no doubt based on patronising assumptions about the inability of readers to cope with a serious novel.

The whole premise of a "populist" Booker is insulting. If football or athletics were judged in this way the public would fall about with laughter.


Presteigne, Powys