Sunderland libraries benefit from Man Booker Prize judge Chris’s bedroom collection

Former Sunderland MP Chris Mullin  (right) donating the books entered for this years Man Booker Prize to Sunderland Libraries. Pictured with Chris are City Librarian Margaret Simpson and Coun John Kelly chairman of the Safer City and Culture Committee.
Former Sunderland MP Chris Mullin (right) donating the books entered for this years Man Booker Prize to Sunderland Libraries. Pictured with Chris are City Librarian Margaret Simpson and Coun John Kelly chairman of the Safer City and Culture Committee.
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A FORMER Sunderland MP, best-selling writer and literary prize judge has donated a stack of top reads to Sunderland libraries.

Chris Mullin, former Sunderland South MP, is one of this year’s judges for the prestigious Man Booker Award.

After reading each of the 13 books that made it on to the long-list, he has decided to donate them all to Sunderland city libraries to share with Wearsiders.

Mr Mullin, who said he has read all of the 138 books fighting to be crowned top title, said: “They are all piled on my bedroom floor at the moment and my wife is keen to see the back of them.

“I would like to have kept one or two, but it is better to share them with the people of Sunderland.”

The winner of the prize, which is Britain’s most famous literary award, will be unveiled on October 18 at a ceremony in London.

Mr Mullin will also be playing an active role in this year’s Houghton Feast Literature Festival, which is running at venues across the city.

On Wednesday, in Houghton library at 2.30pm, he will be talking about his role as a Man Booker judge,

Later that day, he will be talking about his highly-acclaimed political diaries at Sunderland City Library and Arts Centre from 6pm.

The third and final volume of his diaries, A Walk-On Part, was recently published and had already proved a hit.

Mr Mullin’s talk will be followed by a book signing.

Coun John Kelly, Sunderland City Council portfolio holder for safer city and culture, said: “We are very grateful to Mr Mullin for his kind donation of both his books and his time to Sunderland libraries.”

Other events that form part of Houghton Feast Literature Festival include talks from former Sunderland detective-turned-crime-author Graham Pears at Shiney Row library on Thursday, from 5.30pm.

As part of the festival, budding young writers are being invited to draw on their imaginations and pen a short story around the theme of myths and legends.

Entrants must be aged between 12 and 16.

Entry forms can be picked up from any library and entries must be received by October 17.