Suffolk publisher Liz Calder is awarded CBE in birthday honours

Liz Calder at Snape Maltings. The co-founder of FlipSide has been awarded a CBE for services to lite

Liz Calder at Snape Maltings. The co-founder of FlipSide has been awarded a CBE for services to literature. Pic: Sue Anderson - Credit: Archant

One of the UK’s most respected literary figures, Liz Calder, who lives in Halesworth, has been honoured with a CBE in today’s Queen’s Birthday Honours list as co-founder of Bloomsbury Publishing and for services to literature

Liz Calder at Snape Maltings. The co-founder of FlipSide has been awarded a CBE for services to lite

Liz Calder at Snape Maltings. The co-founder of FlipSide has been awarded a CBE for services to literature. Pic: Sue Anderson - Credit: Archant

“I am astonished and delighted to have been honoured,” said Calder. “Publishing has been the most rewarding, stimulating and challenging of careers and it’s wonderful to have this affirmation.”

Earlier this week she was also appointed an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and awarded the RSL’s Benson Medal, given annually to individuals for exceptional service to literature.

Calder worked at Victor Gollancz Ltd and Jonathan Cape before becoming a founder director of Bloomsbury Publishing. Over the course of a long career, she was responsible for publishing several Man Booker prize winners: Anita Brookner’s Hotel du Lac, Salman Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children, Michael Ondaatje’s The English Patient and Margaret Atwood’s The Blind Assassin. Other authors she championed have included Angela Carter, John Irving, Joanna Trollope, Jeanette Winterson and Julian Barnes. She was a founder of the Orange Prize for Fiction (now the Women’s Prize for Fiction), chair of the Royal Court Theatre (2000-2003) and in 2003 founded Flip, the Parati International Literary Festival, Brazil’s first and now largest literary gathering for which she was awarded the Brazilian National Order of the Southern Cross and was presented with the Order of Merit, for services to culture, by then President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva

After moving to Suffolk, Calder co-founded publishing house, Full Circle Editions, and with her partners produced, in 2013, FlipSide, the literary and music festival that takes place at Snape Maltings.


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On June 12, at The Cut in Halesworth, Calder has organised the FlipSide presentation of the launch of Michael Ondaatje’s latest novel, Warlight, which is partly set in Suffolk, an area to which she introduced the author.

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