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Last Updated: Wednesday, 10 December, 2003, 00:17 GMT
Fiennes joins book prize judges
Ralph Fiennes
Ralph Fiennes' film credits include Red Dragon and Schindler's List
Actor Ralph Fiennes is to be a judge for the prestigious Whitbread Book Prize, it has been announced.

Fiennes will join broadcaster Joan Bakewell who will chair the judging panel to find the book of the year.

A shortlist of books in five categories was recently announced, with authors including Mark Haddon and Rachel Cusk competing in the novel section.

Category winners will be named on 7 January, with an overall winner chosen on 27 January, winning 25,000.

Booker Prize winner DBC Pierre is on the shortlist of first novel authors, alongside Anne Donovan for Buddha Da, Paul Murray for An Evening of Long Goodbyes and Talitha Stevenson for An Empty Room.

Poet laureate Andrew Motion will be lending his expertise to the poetry judging panel, while actress Jenny Agutter will sit on the children's book prize panel.

The category winners will receive 5,000 in prize money each.

The overall winner will be chosen by a panel of 10 people, including travel writer Bill Bryson, writer and actress Meera Syal, actress and TV presenter Liza Tarbuck and author Philip Hensher.

Last year, the Whitbread Prize was won by Claire Tomalin for her biography of Samuel Pepys.

She found herself competing for the overall prize with husband Michael Frayn, whose novel Spies topped the novel category.

Pierre's dark humour disappoints
16 Sep 03  |  Reviews

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