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Baroness Lola Young, OBE to chair the 2017 Man Booker Prize

Baroness Lola Young, OBE to chair the 2017 Man Booker Prize

Baroness Lola Young, OBE has been named chair of the judges for the 2017 Man Booker Prize for Fiction, the most prestigious award for fiction written in English. She will lead a panel of five judges in choosing the best novel of the year in 2017.

Lola Young comments, 'Very soon, I’ll be attempting to navigate my way around stacks of books, looking for a space to sit and read some of the best, most riveting literature written in English, published this year. It’s a huge honour to be invited to chair the Man Booker Prize; I'm very excited by the prospect but daunted too. Fortunately, I will have a wonderful, committed panel of knowledgeable judges working with me on this prestigious literary event, which captures the public’s imagination year after year.'

After an acting career, Lola Young became professor of Cultural Studies at Middlesex University, a writer, and a cultural critic. She subsequently became Head of Culture at the Greater London Authority. She has sat on the boards of several national cultural organisations, including the National Theatre, The National Archives and the Southbank Centre and participated in judging panels such as the Orange Prize for Literature, which she chaired, the Caine Prize for African Writing, and The Observer newspaper Ethical Awards.

Lola Young was appointed an independent crossbench member of the House of Lords in 2004. She has gone on to found or chair a number of parliamentary groups and committees, with a particular focus on improving outcomes for vulnerable young women and men. She has honorary doctorates from Middlesex University, the University of the Arts London, and Sussex University.

The 12 or 13 titles longlisted for the 2017 Man Booker Prize – ‘The Man Booker Dozen’ – will be announced in July 2017. The shortlist of six titles will be announced in September 2017. The winner of the 2017 Man Booker Prize will be announced at London’s Guildhall at an awards ceremony on 17 October 2017.

The winner of the 2016 Man Booker Prize for Fiction, The Sellout by Paul Beatty (Oneworld), made history when it was announced in October, making Paul Beatty the first American author to win the prize. In the week following the 2016 winner announcement, sales of The Sellout increased by 658%. To date, over 250,000 print copies of the book have been sold internationally, and more than a dozen foreign language rights have been sold.

Lola Young