You are here

2017 Man Booker Prize for Fiction: Judges announced

2017 Man Booker Prize for Fiction: Judges announced

The judges of the 2017 Man Booker Prize for Fiction are announced today, Tuesday 20 December.

The panel, which will be chaired by Baroness Lola Young, consists of: literary critic, Lila Azam Zanganeh; the Man Booker Prize shortlisted novelist, Sarah Hall; the artist, Tom Phillips CBE RA; and the travel writer, Colin Thubron CBE.

Lola Young comments on behalf of the panel: ‘It is wonderful – a real privilege – to embark on this great adventure with such an accomplished panel of judges. The prospect of getting to know each other through sharing insights and discussing this year’s finest fiction is one to relish. As always, it's a big challenge and we're all excited and ready to rise to it.’

2017 is the 49th year of the £50,000 prize, which was launched in 1969. The 2017 judging panel will be looking for the best novel of the year, selected from entries published in the UK between 1 October 2016 and 30 September 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 and Beatty became the first US 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.

The ‘Man Booker Dozen’ of 12 or 13 books will be announced in July 2017 and the shortlist of six books in September 2017. The winner of the 2017 Man Booker Prize for Fiction will be announced on 17 October 2017 at an awards ceremony at London’s Guildhall, broadcast live by the BBC.


The Man Booker Prize is sponsored by Man Group, one of the world’s largest independent alternative investment managers.

For further information about the prize please visit or follow us on Twitter at


For all press enquiries please contact:

Four Colman Getty on +44(0)20 3697 4200

Rosie Beaumont-Thomas

Dotti Irving



The Man Booker Prize 2017 Judges

Baroness Lola Young (Chair): An independent crossbench peer, formerly professor of Cultural Studies at Middlesex University and head of culture at the Greater London Authority. Baroness Young has been on the boards of a number of cultural bodies, including the National Theatre and the Southbank Centre. She was instrumental in developing the Black Cultural Archives and oversaw for a time the Royal Commission on Historical Manuscripts. She was appointed a member of the House of Lords in 2004, and holds honorary doctorates from Middlesex University, the University of the Arts London and Sussex University. Baroness Young has chaired the judging panels of the Orange Prize for Fiction and the Caine Prize for African Writing.

Lila Azam Zanganeh: The author of an innovative book about Nabokov, The Enchanter: Nabokov and Happiness, which has been translated into ten languages. Born to Iranian parents, she studied at the École Normale Supérieure in Paris, and went on to teach literature, cinema and Romance languages at Harvard University. She has since conducted interviews and written essays for a range of publications including the New York Times and the Paris Review. Along with Sheila Heti, Adam Thirlwell and Geoff Dyer, she contributed to Visual Editions’ map-based work Where You Are. She is a judge of the Formentor Prize, and is the recipient of the 2011 Roger Shattuck Prize for Criticism.

Sarah Hall: A novelist and short story author, her novel The Electric Michelangelo was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize in 2004, and her novel How to Paint a Dead Man was longlisted in 2009. Hall has won the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize, the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize, and the BBC National Short Story Award. In 2013, she was selected as one of Granta’s Best of Young British Novelists, and her third novel The Carhullan Army was listed as one of The Times 100 Best Books of the Decade. She has judged a number of literary awards. Her most recent novel is The Wolf Border.

Tom Phillips CBE RA: An artist whose classic work, A Humument – a collage made out of a Victorian novel – has just been published in its final edition after decades of ongoing work. His portraits of Iris Murdoch and Samuel Beckett are both in the collection of National Portrait Gallery. Phillips has translated Dante's Inferno and illustrated Ulysses. He has been a trustee of the National Portrait Gallery and the British Museum, and has chaired the Library and Exhibition Committee of the Royal Academy.

Colin Thubron CBE: An award-winning travel writer and novelist, Thubron is the author, most recently, of Night of Fire, a complex novel described in several reviews as a “masterpiece”. He has written primarily on Central Asia, Russia and China, and was ranked by The Times as one of the 50 greatest British writers of the postwar period. He is the current President of the Royal Society of Literature, and a contributor to the TLS, the New York Review of Books and the New York Times.

Notes to Editors


  • Photographs of the judging panel are available from Four Colman Getty


  • For the Man Booker Prize, UK publishers may submit novels written in English and published in the UK between 1 October 2016 and 30 September 2017. The number of books a publisher can submit will depend on that publisher’s inclusion in longlists over the previous five years, as follows:


  • 1 submission – publishers with no longlistings

  • 2 submissions – publishers with 1 or 2 longlisting(s)

  • 3 submissions – publishers with 3 or 4 longlistings

  • 4 submissions – publishers with 5 or more longlistings


This means that the number of submissions for each publisher may change from year to year. A new work by any author who has previously been shortlisted for the Booker (pre-2002) or Man Booker Prize is automatically eligible


  • The judges ‘call in’ a number of novels each year: in addition to their main submission, a publisher may nominate up to five titles for consideration, accompanied by a justification from the editor. The judges are required to call in no fewer than eight and no more than 12 of these titles. The judges are also permitted to call in other books published within the requisite dates, even if the book has not been submitted through any other route


  • The shortlisted authors each receive £2,500 and a specially bound edition of their book. The winner will receive a further £50,000 and can expect international recognition


  • Four Colman Getty handles PR and event management for the prize and provides all events and administrative back-up


  • The Literary Director of the Booker Prize Foundation is Gaby Wood. The Administrator of the Man Booker International Prize is Fiammetta Rocco – Culture Editor of The Economist and 1843


  • Paul Beatty won the 2016 Man Booker Prize for Fiction with The Sellout (Oneworld). The Sellout went straight to number one on the bestseller charts on both and, and sold 9,763 print copies in the UK in the week following the announcement, a 658% increase on the previous week. Independent publisher Oneworld issued an immediate reprint of 180,000 copies and have reprinted another 95,000 copies along with a small print run of a special hardback edition of the book


  • The Man Booker Prize for Fiction was first awarded in 1969 and has been sponsored by Man Group since 2002. The long-term future of the prize was secured in 2011 with the announcement of a renewed 10-year sponsorship from Man Group. The title ‘Booker Prize’ therefore only applies to prize years 1969 – 2001, before Man Group plc’s sponsorship began, and since 2002 it has been called The Man Booker Prize for Fiction. It would be greatly appreciated if you could ensure that your editorial is factually correct by referring to the prize’s full title at least once, if not in the headline, then in your next subsequent mention. For a full history of the prize including previous winners, shortlisted authors and judges visit the website:


  • The Man Booker International Prize is awarded annually in May for the best single work of fiction translated into English and published in the UK. The £50,000 prize is divided equally between the author and the translator. Each shortlisted author and translator receives £1,000. The 2016 winner was The Vegetarian by Han Kang, translated by Deborah Smith. 2016 was the first year of the newly evolved prize, which was originally established in 2005 as a biennial prize awarded to an author for an achievement in fiction. Chaired by Nick Barley, Director of the Edinburgh International Book Festival, the 2017 judging panel consists of: translator Daniel Hahn; award-winning poet Helen Mort; Turkish author and academic Elif Shafak and Nigerian-born writer Chika Unigwe. The winner will be announced on 14 June 2017


  • The trustees of the Booker Prize Foundation are: Baroness Kennedy QC – Chair, former Chair of the British Council and Principal of Mansfield College, Oxford; Lord Baker of Dorking CH; Bidisha – writer, critic and broadcaster; Victoria Glendinning CBE – biographer; James Naughtie – broadcaster; Ben Okri – writer and 1991 Booker Prize winner; Christopher Pearce – former Finance Director of Rentokil plc; Professor Louise Richardson – Vice Chancellor of the University of Oxford. Jonathan Taylor CBE is President of the Foundation and Sir Ronald Harwood, Baroness Neuberger and Baroness Nicholson of Winterbourne are Vice Presidents


  • The Booker Prize Foundation Advisory Committee, which advises on any changes to the rules and on the selection of the judges, represents all aspects of the book world. Its members are: Mark Chilton – Company Secretary and General Counsel of Booker Group plc; Jonty Claypole – Head of Arts, BBC; James Daunt – Managing Director of Waterstones; Jonathan Douglas – Director of the National Literacy Trust; Maggie Fergusson – writer and Secretary of the Royal Society of Literature; Adam Freudenheim – publisher, Pushkin Press; Derek Johns – Author & Literary Agent; Peter Kemp – Chief Fiction Reviewer, The Sunday Times; Rosanna Konarzewski – Man Group plc; Nigel Newton – publisher, Bloomsbury; Fiammetta Rocco – Culture Editor, The Economist and 1843 and Man Booker International Prize Administrator; Michal Shavit – publishing director, Jonathan Cape; Eve Smith – Secretary, the Booker Prize Foundation; Boyd Tonkin – writer and critic. It is chaired by Gaby Wood, Literary Director, Booker Prize Foundation


  • Man Group has sponsored the Man Booker Prize since 2002. A leading alternative investment management firm founded in 1783, Man Group was recognised as a partner which mirrored the quality, integrity and longevity of the Booker Prize. The prize underscores Man Group's charitable focus on literacy and education as well as the firm’s commitment to excellence and entrepreneurship. Together with the wider charitable activities of the Booker Prize Foundation, the prize plays a very important role in promoting literary excellence on a global scale that the firm is honoured to support


  • Man Group is one of the world’s largest independent alternative investment management groups. Man Group’s managers (Man AHL, Man FRM, Man GLG and Man Numeric) have diverse long/short and long only strategies spanning equity, credit, managed futures, convertibles, emerging markets and multi-managers. At 30 September 2016, Man Group’s funds under management were $80.7 billion. The original business was founded in 1783. Today, Man Group plc is listed on the London Stock Exchange under the ticker EMG.L and is a constituent of the FTSE 250 Index. Man Group also supports many awards, charities and initiatives around the world, including sponsorship of the Man Booker literary prizes. Further information can be found at


  • Booker is the UK's leading food wholesaler with over 170 branches nationwide. It serves over 350,000 independent businesses


  • The Booker Prize Foundation has a longstanding partnership with RNIB (Royal National Institute of Blind People). The Foundation funds the production of the shortlisted titles in braille, giant print and audio, which the sight loss charity produces by the date the winner is announced. Accessible versions are then made available to the tens of thousands of blind and partially sighted members of the RNIB Library. People with sight loss have a limited choice of books in accessible formats and often have to wait much longer than their sighted peers for titles to be made available to them - and there are many more books that they will never have the chance to read. The Foundation is working with RNIB to change this story. For further information contact the RNIB PR Team on 020 7391 2223 or


  • The Booker Prize Archive was given on loan in 2003 to Oxford Brookes University where it now resides