Sonny Mehta to receive London Book Fair Lifetime Achievement Award

The London Book Fair is pleased to announce that the eighth annual Lifetime Achievement Award in International Publishing, sponsored by SBS Worldwide and in association with the Publishers Association, will be awarded to Sonny Mehta, Editor-in-Chief of Alfred A. Knopf Publishers, one of the world’s most distinguished publishers.

Sonny Mehta’s contribution to English language publishing is immense. He began his illustrious publishing career in London, where he co-founded Paladin Books and was Editorial Director of Pan Books, before moving to New York to head Alfred A. Knopf in 1987. Long the publisher of such renowned writers as Thomas Mann, Willa Cather, John Hersey, Andre Gide, Albert Camus, John Updike, and Julia Child, Knopf is also the publisher for Toni Morrison, V.S. Naipaul, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Kazuo Ishiguro, Michael Ondatjee, Orhan Pamuk, Cormac McCarthy, Haruki Murakami, Peter Carey and Bill Clinton. Together, authors published by Knopf have won 24 Nobel Prizes, and they have also been leading recipients of Pulitzer Prizes, National Book Awards, and other important honours.

Sonny is well known for moving in with Douglas Adams to make sure he finished his book So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish. He is also famous for buying Bret Easton Ellis’s American Psycho after Simon & Schuster refused to publish it at the eleventh hour.

Sonny Mehta said: “I am honoured to accept this award from the organisers of The London Book Fair and flattered to be following in the footsteps of such distinguished past recipients. As I see it, my job has always been to champion the work of the authors I publish. And so, on this occasion, I would like to sincerely thank all the writers who have become such an important part of my life, both personally and professionally. Some of them are highly acclaimed and widely read; some, alas, have not yet found the readerships they deserve. But regardless of their appearance on any best-seller list or their selection for any award, these writers are a true inspiration. I consider myself fortunate indeed to be their publisher.”

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