Elnathan John has been announced as one of the judges for the 2019 Man Booker International Prize as submissions for the 2019 prize open.
Chaired by Bettany Hughes, award-winning historian, author and broadcaster, the panel consists of: writer, translator and president of English PEN Maureen Freely; philosopher Professor Angie Hobbs FRSA; novelist and satirist Elnathan John; and essayist and novelist Pankaj Mishra.
Elnathan John is a novelist, lawyer and satirist, whose fiction was shortlisted for the Caine Prize for African Writing in 2013 and 2015. His debut novel, Born on a Tuesday, a coming-of-age novel about Islam, politics and culture set in northern Nigeria, won a Betty Trask award (2017) and was shortlisted for the Nigeria Prize for Literature, the Republic of Consciousness Prize and the 2017 Hurston/Wright Legacy Award for Debut Fiction. John writes a weekly satire column for Daily Trust newspapers and is one of Nigeria’s most well-known contemporary satirists. A recipient of the 2018 Miles Morland Writing Scholarship, he is currently working on his next project which explores the history of a mountaineer revolt in the 1800s, in what is now north eastern Nigeria. He lives and works in Berlin.
2019 will be the fourth year of the evolved Man Booker International Prize, which was originally launched in 2005. The 2019 judging panel will be looking for the best work of translated fiction, selected from entries published in the UK and Ireland between 1 May 2018 and 30 April 2019.
According to Bettany Hughes, Chair of the judges for 2019:
“As a species we are motivated not by systems but by stories. I see this in play from the very beginning of human society. Today it matters what stories we imagine, share, listen to.
I’m truly delighted to have the chance to celebrate the most inspirational work from across the world – it will be an honour to read each and every one of the books submitted.”
Fiammetta Rocco, Administrator of the Man Booker International Prize, also stated:
“The judges of the 2019 Man Booker International Prize are readers, writers, broadcasters, academics and translators. They are united by their global outlook, their curiosity about what fiction can accomplish and their passion for literature in translation.”
The “Man Booker Dozen” of 12 or 13 books will be announced in March 2019 and the shortlist of six books in April 2019. The winner will be announced in May 2019.
The prize is sponsored by Man Group, an active investment management firm that also sponsors the Man Booker Prize for Fiction. Both prizes strive to recognise and reward the finest in contemporary literature.
The 2018 prize was won by the Polish author, Olga Tokarczuk, and her translator, Jennifer Croft, for Flights, published by Fitzcarraldo Editions. The £50,000 prize was split equally between author and translator. Flights sold over 10,000 copies in the week following the winner announcement.