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Judges announced for the 2018 Man Booker International Prize

Judges announced for the 2018 Man Booker International Prize

The judges for the 2018 Man Booker International Prize are announced today 18 July 2017, as submissions for the 2018 prize open.

Chaired by Lisa Appignanesi OBE, author and cultural commentator, the panel consists of: translator Michael Hofmann; novelist and essayist Hari Kunzru; critic Tim Martin; and novelist and short story writer Helen Oyeyemi.

2018 will be the third year of the evolved Man Booker International Prize, which was originally launched in 2005. The 2018 judging panel will be looking for the best work of translated fiction, selected from entries published in the UK between 1 May 2017 and 30 April 2018.

The 2017 prize was won by Israeli author, David Grossman, and his translator, Jessica Cohen, for A Horse Walks into a Bar. The £50,000 prize was split equally between author and translator.  The paperback of A Horse Walks Into a Bar sold 20,000 copies in the three weeks following the winner announcement.

“This award is especially meaningful because it is an unparalleled recognition of translators,” Jessica Cohen said in her acceptance speech.  “To me,” she added, “the Man Booker International Prize is about recognising works that break down walls and barriers, that fight against dehumanising other people or other peoples, and find the language to express the human experiences that we all share.”

Lisa Appignanesi, Chair of the judges for 2018, comments: “The Man Booker International is one of my great favourites amongst 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 honoured to be chairing a panel of formidable writers, critics and translators and I’m anticipating our literary discussions with delight.”

Fiammetta Rocco, Administrator of the Man Booker International Prize, adds: “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 “Man Booker Dozen” of 12 or 13 books will be announced in March 2018 and the shortlist of six books in April 2018. The winner will be announced in May 2018.

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.


About the judges

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 is also the author of an acclaimed family memoir, Losing the Dead and nine novels, including The Memory Man and Paris Requiem. She is 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 is a former President of English PEN and former Chair of the Trustees of the Freud Museum in London. Appignanesi was awarded an OBE for services to literature in 2013.

Michael Hofmann is a poet, reviewer and translator from German. He writes for the LRB, The New York Times, Poetry, The TLS and elsewhere. He has published five books of poems, two essay collections, and 80-odd translations, mainly novels. Much of his 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), but 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 Impressionist, Transmission, My Revolutions, Gods 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 Times, The Daily Telegraph, The Financial Times, The Independent, The New Statesman, The Spectator, 1843, The Literary Review, Bookforum 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.  |  @ManBookerPrize  |  #MBI2018 | #FinestFiction

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Notes to Editors

  • The Administrator of the Man Booker International Prize is Fiammetta Rocco – Culture Editor of The Economist and 1843. The Literary Director of the Booker Prize Foundation is Gaby Wood

  • Submissions are invited of fiction published in English in translation by UK publishers between 1 May 2017 and 30 April 2018

  • The first winner of the newly evolved Man Booker International Prize was The Vegetarian by Han Kang, translated from Korean by Deborah Smith

  • There is no restriction on the number of submissions per publisher but this will be kept under review and may change in future years

  • Four Colman Getty handles PR and event management for the prize and provides all events and administrative back-up

  • The Man Booker International Prize website includes detailed information about all aspects of the prize and runs regular news bulletins:   

  • The Booker Prize Foundation Advisory Committee, which advises on any changes to the rules and on the selection of the judges, represents all aspects of the book world. Its members are:  Mark Chilton – Company Secretary and General Counsel of Booker Group plc; Jonty Claypole – Head of Arts, BBC; James Daunt – Managing Director of Waterstones; Jonathan Douglas – Director of the National Literacy Trust; Maggie Fergusson – writer and Secretary of the Royal Society of Literature; Adam Freudenheim – publisher, Pushkin Press; Derek Johns – author & literary agent; Peter Kemp – Chief Fiction Reviewer, The Sunday Times; Rosanna Konarzewski – Global Head of Communications and Marketing, Man Group; Nigel Newton – publisher, Bloomsbury; Fiammetta Rocco – Culture Editor, The Economist and 1843 (Man Booker International Prize Administrator); Michal Shavit – Publishing Director, Jonathan Cape; Eve Smith – Secretary, the Booker Prize Foundation; Boyd Tonkin – writer and critic. It is chaired by  Gaby Wood, Literary Director, Booker Prize Foundation

  • The Booker Prize Foundation is a registered charity (no 1090049) established in 2002, since when it has been responsible for the award of the Man Booker Prize for Fiction, and for the Man Booker International Prize since its inauguration in 2005. The trustees of the Booker Prize Foundation are: Baroness Kennedy QC – Chair, former Chair of the British Council and Principal of Mansfield College, Oxford; Lord Baker of Dorking CH; Bidisha – writer, critic and broadcaster; Victoria Glendinning CBE – biographer; James Naughtie – broadcaster; Christopher Pearce – former Finance Director of Rentokil plc; Professor Louise Richardson – Vice Chancellor of the University of Oxford; Ben Okri – writer and former Man Booker Prize winner. Jonathan Taylor CBE is President of the Foundation and Baroness Nicholson of Winterbourne, Sir Ronald Harwood and Baroness Neuberger are Vice Presidents

  • Man Group has sponsored the Man Booker Prize since 2002 and the Man Booker International Prize since its inception in 2005. An active investment management firm founded in 1783, Man Group was recognised as a partner that mirrored the quality, integrity and longevity of the Booker Prize. The prize underscores Man Group's charitable focus on literacy and education as well as the firm’s commitment to excellence and creativity. Together with the wider charitable activities of the Booker Prize Foundation, the prize plays a very important role in promoting literary excellence on a global scale that the firm is honoured to support

  • Man Group is an active investment management firm focused on delivering performance and client solutions through its five investment management businesses: Man AHL; Man Numeric; Man GLG; Man FRM and Man Global Private Markets. Man Group’s investment management businesses provide long-only, alternative and private markets products on a single and multi-manager basis, leveraging the firm’s robust infrastructure to provide a diverse range of strategies across investment approaches, styles and asset classes.  The original business was founded in 1783. Today, Man Group plc is listed on the London Stock Exchange under the ticker EMG.L and is a constituent of the FTSE 250 Index. As at 31 March 2017, Man Group’s funds under management were $88.7 billion. Man Group also supports many awards, charities and initiatives around the world, including sponsorship of the Man Booker literary prizes. Further information can be found at

  • Booker is the UK's leading food wholesaler with over 170 branches nationwide.  It serves over 350,000 independent businesses


Four Colman Getty

July 2017