Bettany Hughes to chair 2019 Man Booker International Prize

Bettany Hughes to chair 2019 Man Booker International Prize

Historian Bettany Hughes has been revealed as the chair of judges for the 2019 Man Booker International Prize, as submissions for the 2019 prize open.

The judging panel also includes 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.

Next year will mark the fourth for 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 1st May 2018 and 30th April 2019.

Hughes said: “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, added: “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 2018 prize was won by the Polish author, Olga Tokarczuk, and her translator, Jennifer Croft, for Flights, published by Fitzcarraldo Editions.

The £50,000 reward was split equally between author and translator. Flights sold over 10,000 copies in the week following the winner announcement, according to the prize's organisers.

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.