We are very sad to report the death on July 6 of Matthew Evans, the former chairman of EFG Private Bank and a driving force behind the creation of the Sunday Times EFG Short Story Award.
Matthew, who was made Baron Evans of Temple Guiting in 2000, had a long and illustrious career as managing director of the publisher Faber & Faber, overseeing its finest years. Ted Hughes, Seamus Heaney, PD James, Peter Carey, Tom Stoppard, Hanif Kureishi, John Carey, Philip Larkin, Kazuo Ishiguro, William Golding, Paul Auster, Orhan Pamuk and Milan Kundera were just some of the authors on the Faber list during his years there.
The Sunday Times EFG Short Story Award came out of a conversation between Matthew and The Sunday Times’s Cathy Galvin. Matthew immediately saw the possibilities of the prize, realised its potential for championing short stories, and was instrumental in ensuring it should be determinedly international in flavour and have generous prize money (£20,000, rising to £30,000) to ensure that it drew the attention of the literary world.
The award, and its success and future, were very dear to Matthew’s heart, and he did an enormous amount to ensure its health, bringing outstanding names onto the judging panel, acting each year as its non-voting chair of judges, and ensuring that the deliberations were always generous and warm-spirited.
The prize, and all of us associated with it, owe Matthew a great debt of thanks.
Sunday Times Literary Editor