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'The smart way to build a literary career'

22 March 2015

‘I have many feelings about literary awards and they are all tangled together. In general, I like them. I am often pleased, but occasionally outraged, by a particular choice. It's a thoroughly pleasurable kind of outrage though, because the conversation is all about books and takes place among people to whom books matter. Of course, the whole enterprise of declaring one book better than all the others is instantly untenable. But I'm glad that people try. Glad and grateful...

The smart way to build a literary career is you create an identifiable product then reliably produce that product so that people know what they are going to get. That's the smart way to build a career, but not the fun way. Maybe you can think about being less successful and happier. That's an option too.'

Karen Jay Fowler, author of We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves, which was shortlisted for the 2014 Man Booker Prize, in the Independent on Sunday