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Sutherland, John

John Sutherland

Elected: 1990

Year of birth: 1938

John Sutherland is Emeritus Lord Northcliffe Professor of Modern English Literature at University College, London.

He has taught in universities world-wide and is also Visiting Professor of California Institute of Technology. Author of many books and articles, his interest lies in the areas of Victorian fiction, the history of publishing and 20th-century fiction. He writes for The Guardian and is a well-known literary reviewer.

His book, Stephen Spender: The Authorized Biography (2004), was shortlisted for the Whitbread Biography Award. Recent books are How To Read a Novel: a User’s Guide (2006), and a book of memoir – The Boy Who Loved Books (2007). Curiosities of Literature, a miscellany about reading, and Magic Moments: Life-changing Encounters with Books, Film, Music were published in 2008.

John Sutherland’s latest books are: Love, Sex, Death and Words: Tales from a Year in Literature (2010), written with Stephen Fender; 50 Literature Ideas You Really Need to Know (2011); and Lives of the Novelists: A History of Ficiton in 294 Lives (2011).

More of our Fellows

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Tim Heald

Paul Bailey

Phillipa Pearce

Fellowship Election Process​

Fellows are nominated by peers and elected by our Council of writers – our governing Board. Being elected a Fellow of the RSL is a lifetime honour. This role gives them the opportunity to support other writers, readers and the future of literature. The RSL connects writers in the Fellowship to one another, and to a wider readership.