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The Independent UK
The Independent UK
Charlotte McLaughlin

Adjoa Andoh and Robert Webb to judge Booker Prize in 2023

PA Wire

Actress Adjoa Andoh and comedian Robert Webb will be part of the panel to judge the Booker Prize in 2023.

Bridgerton star Andoh, 59, and the Peep Show actor, 50, have both written and directed productions as well as served as literary judges for other competitions.

Webb, known for his comic partnership with David Mitchell, has also judged the BBC Young Writers’ Award.

Andoh was one of those to choose the AKO Caine Prize Award For African Writing in 2016.

She was also elected an honorary fellow of the Royal Society of Literature earlier this year and an Oxford visiting professor of contemporary theatre.

They will be joined by Canadian novelist Esi Edugyan, award-winning Hong Kong poet Mary Jean Chan, and American professor James Shapiro, who specialises in William Shakespeare.

All the judges are joining the Booker Prize panel for the first time, a spokeswoman for the annual award told PA news agency.

Chair Edugyan said: “I’m deeply excited for the chance to immerse myself in great storytelling, in its enduring ability to shock, thrill, devastate, and console.”

She thinks her fellow panellists’ “experience, viewpoints and vocations will no doubt make for rich conversation”.

Gaby Wood, director of the Booker Prize Foundation, said Edugyan’s two Booker-shortlisted novels, Washington Black and Half Blood Blues, are “magnificent entertainments and subtle acts of reimagining”.

She added: “I have no doubt that her astuteness and calm will bring out the very best in this glorious group.”

Coming of age tale Washington Black, set on a slave plantation, was previously announced as an upcoming 2023 Disney and Hulu series, starring Black Panther actor Sterling K Brown and co-produced by Edugyan.

The 2023 panel will select books published from October 1 2022 and September 30 2023 to win the Booker Prize and £50,000.

This year, Sri Lankan author Shehan Karunatilaka took home the literary award with his novel The Seven Moons Of Maali Almeida, a darkly comic murder mystery set during the Sri Lankan Civil War.

His independent UK publisher, Sort of Books, has since the announcement in October reprinted more than 270,000 copies of his book.

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