Man Booker International 2018 Judges: Prize Honors Translator, Author

In News by Porter Anderson

Five jurors based in the UK and North America will select the £50,000 Man Booker International Prize in the spring of 2018.

Clockwise from upper left, jurors for the 2018 Man Booker International Prize are Lisa Appignanesi OBE (chair); Michael Hofman; Hari Kunszru; Helen Oyeyemi; and Tim Martin.

By Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief | @Porter_Anderson

‘A Conversation Between Writer and Translator’
The Man Booker International Prize has announced its 2018 panel of jurists.

Led by author and cultural commentator Lisa Appignanesi OBE, these judges will be handling the third year of the international prize’s “evolved” format in which the prize is given for a single work and its purse of £50,000 (US$63,000) is split evenly between translator and author.

As Publishing Perspectives reported, this year’s prize went to author David Grossman and translator Jessica Cohen for A Horse Walks Into a Bar, now published with new cover art by London’s Jonathan Cape.

In a prepared statement for the press, jury chair Appignanesi is quoted, saying, “The Man Booker International is one of my great favorites among our panoply of prizes.

“I’m thrilled by the adventure of setting out to read the best of our fiction in translation–fiction that navigates foreign seas, charts different ways of life and other ways of seeing. Fiction, too, in which a conversation between writer and translator can be divined. I’m honored to be chairing a panel of formidable writers, critics and translators and I’m anticipating our literary discussions with delight.”

And prize administrator Fiammetta Rocco is quoted, saying, “The judges of the 2018 Man Booker International prize are united by their love of the written word, by their curiosity about how the novel can transcend boundaries and by a deep appreciation for the creative work done by literary translators today.”

The 2018 prize’s longlist, called the “Man Booker Dozen” of 12 or 13 titles, is to be announced in March. The shortlist follows in April and the winner is to be announced in May 2018.

The 2018 International Man Booker Jury

Lisa Appignanesi OBE is a prize-winning writer, novelist, cultural commentator, and chair of the Royal Society of Literature. Her non-fiction includes Trials of Passion: Crimes in the Name of Love and Madness; Mad, Bad and Sad: A History of Women and the Mind Doctors from 1800; and Freud’s Women (with John Forrester). She’s also the author of an acclaimed family memoir, Losing the Dead and nine novels, including The Memory Man and Paris Requiem. 

She’s a visiting professor in literature and medical humanities at King’s College London and was made a Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in recognition of her contribution to literature. She’s a former president of English PEN and former chair of the trustees of the Freud Museum in London. Appignanesi was awarded her OBE for services to literature in 2013.

Michael Hofmann is a poet, reviewer and translator from German. He writes for the London Book Review, The New York TimesPoetryThe TLS and other media. He has published five books of poems, two essay collections, and some 80 translations, mainly novels.

Much of Hofmann’s translation work is of literature from the 1920s and 1930s (Gottfried Benn, Alfred Döblin, Hans Fallada, Ernst Jünger, Irmgard Keun, Franz Kafka, Erich Marie Remarque, Joseph Roth). He has also translated contemporary writers including Durs Grünbein, Zoe Jenny, Wim Wenders and Peter Stamm. He teaches at the University of Florida.

Hari Kunzru is the author of the novels The ImpressionistTransmissionMy RevolutionsGods Without Men and White Tears. He was a 2008 Cullman Fellow at the New York Public Library, a 2014 Guggenheim Fellow, and a 2016 Fellow of the American Academy in Berlin.

Kunzru was born in London and currently lives in New York City.

Tim Martin is a British journalist and critic of contemporary fiction. His writing on books and culture has appeared in The TimesThe Daily Telegraph, The Financial TimesThe IndependentThe New Statesman,The Spectator1843, The Literary ReviewBookforum and elsewhere.

He lived in Paris for five years, where he worked as a broadcaster for Radio France Internationale.

Helen Oyeyemi is the author of five novels, including White is for Witching, which won a 2010 Somerset Maugham Award, and Mr Fox, which won a 2012 Hurston/Wright Legacy Award.

She was elected a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 2013, and was named one of Granta’s Best Young British Novelists the same year. Her story collection What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours was published in March 2016.

The name of the Man Booker prizes refers to their sponsors, the investment management firm Man Group and the UK’s food wholesaler Booker.

Submissions are welcomed in fiction published in English in translation by UK publishers between May 1, 2017, and April 30, 2018.  There’s no restriction on the number of submissions per publisher but this will be kept under review and may change in future years, organizers say.

About the Author

Porter Anderson

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Porter Anderson has been named International Trade Press Journalist of the Year in London Book Fair's International Excellence Awards. He is Editor-in-Chief of Publishing Perspectives. He formerly was Associate Editor for The FutureBook at London's The Bookseller. Anderson was for more than a decade a senior producer and anchor with, CNN International, and CNN USA. As an arts critic (Fellow, National Critics Institute), he was with The Village Voice, the Dallas Times Herald, and the Tampa Tribune, now the Tampa Bay Times. He co-founded The Hot Sheet, a newsletter for authors, which now is owned and operated by Jane Friedman.