When novelists were treated like rock stars
“There was a moment when novelists were sexy,” says Robbie Millen in The Times. “Martin Amis – phwoarrrr!… Ian McEwan – woof!” The reading public had such a thing for “round-shouldered intellectuals in corduroy jackets” that they became the subject of gossip columns. The peak of this literary sexiness came with the launch of Granta’s “Twenty Under Forty” in 1983. This list of the best young British novelists featured a formidable cast of literary stars: Salman Rushdie, already a Booker winner; five other eventual winners including Ian McEwan and Kazuo Ishiguro; writers like William Boyd and Rose Tremain, who are still writing bestsellers 40 years on.