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Last Updated: Monday, 13 February 2006, 09:02 GMT
Hermione Lee chairs Booker judges
Hermione Lee
Hermione Lee taught for 20 years at the University of York
Author and academic Hermione Lee will chair the judging panel for this year's prestigious Man Booker Prize.

She first sat on the literary panel in 1981, when the prize was awarded to Salman Rushdie for Midnight's Children.

Lee's works include an award-winning biography of Virginia Woolf. The Man Booker prize is awarded in October.

Last year's 50,000 prize went to The Sea by novelist John Banville, beating favourite Julian Barnes as well as Zadie Smith and Kazuo Ishiguro.

'Always surprising'

"When I was one of the judges of the Booker Prize 25 years ago, it was a great excitement to award it to a dazzling, little-known writer - Salman Rushdie," Lee said.

"The Man Booker Prize is always surprising. It can change a writer's profile, reward a towering reputation or introduce a brand new novelist to the world. Its influence is enormous."

John Banville
John Banville won the 2005 Man Booker prize for The Sea
Lee was the first woman to occupy the posts of Goldsmiths' Professor of English Literature at Oxford and Professorial Fellow of New College Oxford.

Before taking up the posts she taught for 20 years at the University of York.

Lee will be joined by a further four as-yet-unnamed judges on the panel. The Booker Prize shortlist will be revealed in September.

Review: The Sea
10 Oct 05 |  Arts
Booker diary: The verdict
11 Oct 05 |  Arts


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