Professor of Literature joins Man Booker Prize panel

Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research and Knowledge Exchange and Professor of Literature, Dinah Birch will join the judging panel for the prestigious Man Booker Prize for Fiction 2012.

Dinah, who reviews for the Times Literary Supplement and the London Review of Books, said she was “very excited” to be part of a panel that includes historian, writer and broadcaster, Amanda Foreman; actor, Dan Stevens and academic, writer and reviewer, Bharat Tandon. The panel will be chaired by Sir Peter Stothard, the Times Literary Supplement editor.

Dinah said: “There is no more prestigious award for contemporary fiction than the Man Booker Prize, and I am very excited to have this opportunity to help to choose the 2012 winner.”

The ‘Booker dozen’ – a long list of 12 or 13 titles – will be announced in July next year before a shortlist of six titles is revealed in September 2012.

Chair, Sir Peter Stothard said: “This year’s Man Booker judges begin work this week in enthusiasm and expectation. We have two of Britain’s finest professional critics, with expertise in novels from the 18th to the 21st century, a distinguished actor who is also an accomplished literary critic and an historian who is one of the most successful biographers of our time. We are all looking forward to a feisty Man Booker year – with a background of Jane Austen, John Ruskin, Georgiana Duchess of Devonshire, the Times Literary Supplement and even a hint of the library at Downton Abbey.”

The winner of the 2011 Man Booker Prize for Fiction, The Sense of An Ending by Julian Barnes, was announced in October. To date, ebook and hardback sales of the book in the UK are over 100,000, making it the fastest selling winner in the history of the prize.

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