The Man Booker International Prize Judging Panel Announced

The judges for the newly configured 2016 Man Booker International Prize are announced today, 25 August 2015.

Chaired by Boyd Tonkin, Senior Writer at The Independent, the panel consists of: anthropologist and novelist Tahmima Anam; academic David Bellos, who is currently Professor of French and Comparative Literature and Director of the Program in Translation and Intercultural Communication at Princeton University; editor and academic Daniel Medin, who holds a comparative literature professorship at the American University of Paris (AUP) and prize-winning British poet and author Ruth Padel.

Fiammetta Rocco, Administrator of the prize, comments:

‘The judges of the Man Booker International Prize 2016 together have a diverse and unparalleled knowledge of international literature. Encompassing award-winning writers, translators and editors themselves, their enthusiasm and expertise will ensure that our newly configured prize recognises the very best of translated fiction.”

2016 will be the first year that the Man Booker International Prize will be awarded in its new form.

Announced in July, the Man Booker International Prize has now joined forces with the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize (IFFP), bringing the best of the IFFP to the new venture. The newly evolved prize has been designed to encourage more publishing and reading of quality fiction in translation. Its configuration also gives greater recognition to the role of translators.

As from 2016, the prize will be awarded annually for a single book, translated into English and published in the UK, rather than every two years for a body of work. Both novels and collections of short stories are eligible. In addition, the work of translators will now be directly rewarded, with the new £50,000 prize being divided equally between the author and the translator of the winning entry.

The Man Booker International Prize in its new form will continue to uphold its well-established reputation as a leading accolade in world literature.

The judges will select a longlist of 12 or 13 books in March 2016, followed by a shortlist of six books in April 2016. The winner will be announced at a ceremony in London in May 2016.

The Prize is sponsored by Man Group, one of the world’s largest independent alternative investment managers, which also sponsors the Man Booker Prize for Fiction. Both prizes strive to recognise and reward the finest in modern literature.

The Judges

Boyd Tonkin is Senior Writer at The Independent, and until November 2013 was the newspaper’s Literary Editor. He studied English and French literature at Cambridge University, and taught literature in higher education before becoming an award-winning magazine journalist, and freelance writer and interviewer for The Observer. He became Social Policy Editor of the New Statesman, and then the magazine’s Literary Editor, before moving to The Independent. He has reported on literary and artistic issues from more than 30 countries on five continents, has been an invited speaker at festivals and conferences around the world, and his cultural essays have been published widely in books and journals. He re-founded and judged the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize (2001-2015), and has also judged the Booker Prize, the Whitbread biography award, the Commonwealth Writers Prize, the David Cohen Prize, and the Prix Cevennes in France. He is also a member of the Council of the Orwell Prize.

Tahmima Anam is an anthropologist and novelist. Her debut novel, A Golden Age, was the winner of the Commonwealth Writers Prize for Best First Book in 2008. In 2013, she was named one of Granta’s Best of Young British Novelists. Her writing has appeared in the Financial Times, The Guardian and The Independent and she is a Contributing Opinion Writer for the International New York Times. Born in Dhaka, Bangladesh, she was educated at Mount Holyoke College and Harvard University, and now lives in Hackney, East London.

David Bellos read Modern Languages at Oxford and taught French at the Universities of Edinburgh, Southampton and Manchester before moving to Princeton, where he is Professor of French and Comparative Literature and Director of the Program in Translation and Intercultural Communication. He is the author of Romain Gary: A Tall Story; Jacques Tati: His Life and Art; and Georges Perec: A Life in Words, which was awarded the Goncourt Prize for Biography in 1994. He has translated more than 30 books from French, including Georges Perec’s Life: A User’s Manual and novels by Ismail Kadare, the winner of the inaugural Man Booker International Prize in 2005. Bellos’s essay on translation, Is That A Fish in Your Ear? was shortlisted for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and the National Book Critics’ Circle Award. He is currently writing a book about Victor Hugo and Les Misérables.

Daniel Medin is an editor and a Professor of Comparative Literature at the American University of Paris (AUP), where he teaches classes on contemporary world literature; writing from Central Europe; the history and culture of Berlin and Vienna; and editorial practice. His research is principally concerned with modern fiction from Germany, Austria and Switzerland, with an emphasis on the work and global reception of Franz Kafka. He is Associate Director of AUP’s Center for Writers and Translators, and one of the editors of its Cahiers Series (published jointly with Sylph Editions in London). He is also co-editor of Music & Literature magazine, edits The White Review’s annual translation issue, and advises several journals and presses on contemporary international fiction. He was a judge for the Best Translated Book Award in 2014 and 2015.

Ruth Padel is a prize-winning British poet and author with close connections to Greece, music and conservation. Her ninth collection, Learning to Make an Oud in Nazareth, on creativity, conflict and the Middle East, was short-listed for the T S Eliot Prize. Her prose works include a novel featuring wildlife in India and a book on tiger conservation. Awards include First Prize in the UK National Poetry Competition, a Cholmondeley Award from The Society of Authors, an Arts Council of England Writers’ Award and a British Council Darwin Now Award. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, Member of the Bombay Natural History Society, and Council Member of the Zoological Society of London.

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