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February 15, 2024 47 mins
When does a book transcend from contemporary literature to a classic? Does someone have to confirm its classic status? And can all Booker Prize novels be considered classics just by being part of the Booker canon? This, and more, is what Jo and James are trying to get to the heart of in this week's episode. Listen in as they discuss what makes a classic novel and chat about which Booker books should be known as classics. In this episode Jo and James: Consider what makes a classic Each pick three novels from the Booker Library that are – or should be – considered classics Discuss the plots of their chosen novels and why they are deserving of classic status Reading list: Something to Answer For by P.H. Newby: A Month in the Country by J.L. Carr: How Late It Was, How Late by James Kelman: St. Urbain's Horseman by Mordecai Richler: Atonement by Ian McEwan: The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro: The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood: Shuggie Bain by Douglas Stuart: Schindler's Ark by Thomas Keneally: The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje: Autobiography by Morrisey The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas Midnight's Children by Salman Rushdie: The Siege of Krishnapur by J.G. Farrell: The Conservationist by Nadine Gordimer: Oscar and Lucinda by Peter Carey: The Ghost Road by Pat Barker: Disgrace by J.M. Coetzee: Staying On by Paul Scott: The Famished Road by Ben Okri: Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell: The Line of Beauty by Alan Hollinghurst: Autumn by Ali Smith: Crudo by Olivia Laing No One is Talking About This by Patricia Lockwood: Waterland by Graham Swift: G. by John Berger: Read Alex Clark's piece, “Which novels in the Booker Prize archives should be considered classics?”: A full transcript of the episode is available at our website: Follow The Booker Prize Podcast so you never miss an episode. Visit to find out more about us, and follow us on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Tiktok @thebookerprizes. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
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