Nigerian Novelist Elnathan John Makes Jury For Man Booker Prize 2019

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Nigerian novelist, satirist, writer and lawyer, Elnathan John whose stories have twice been shortlisted for the Caine Prize for African Writing, has been selected as one of the judges for the 2019 Man Booker International Prize.


The announcement came yesterday even as submissions for the 2019 prize were open.

Chaired by Bettany Hughes, award-winning historian, author and broadcaster, the judging panel consists of writer, translator and president of English PEN Maureen Freely, philosopher Professor Angie Hobbs FRSA, essayist and novelist Pankaj Mishra.

The 2019 judging panel will be looking for the best work of translated fiction, selected from entries published in the UK and Ireland between May 1 2018 and April 30 2019.

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.

Hughes, Chair of the judges for 2019, commented: “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.”

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.

Helen Oyeyemi, a British novelist of Nigerian origin was a judge for the 2018 Man Booker International Prize.

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.

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.

Source: Daily Trust

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