Barley to chair judges for Man Booker International Prize

Barley to chair judges for Man Booker International Prize

Edinburgh International Book Festival director Nick Barley is chairing the judging panel for the 2017 Man Booker International Prize.

The judging panel was announced today (7th July), comprising translator Daniel Hahn, award-winning poet Helen Mort, Turkish author and academic Elif Shafak and Nigerian-born writer Chika Unigwe.

The prize will be going into its second year in its newly-evolved form, selecting the best translated book of the year, published in the UK between 1st May 2016 and 30th April 2017, with the winning book's author and translator rewarded equally. 

The original prize format, which launched in 2005, used to reward a body of work as opposed to an individual title, before it was reconfigured last year, merging The Man Booker International Prize and the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize. 

Last year Korean author Han Kang and her translator Deborah Smith won the prize for The Vegetarian (Portobello Books), with the £50,000 prize split equally between author and translator for the first time.

UK sales of The Vegetarian rose six-fold in the week after the prize was announced, according to Man Booker International, who said it lead to "stratospheric" sales in Korea of almost half a million copies two weeks following its win up from 20,000 before it.

Fiammetta Rocco, administrator of the Man Booker International Prize, commented: “Novelists, poets, translators, linguists - and above all readers - the judges of the 2017 Man Booker International Prize have a particular enthusiasm, experience and discernment that will serve them well in the year ahead. They have an outstanding chair in Nick Barley, who has built the Edinburgh International Book Festival into one of the most wide-ranging and inventive literary festivals in the world.” 

The ‘Man Booker Dozen’ of 12 or 13 books will be announced in March 2017, and the shortlist of six books in April 2017. The winner will be announced in May 2017.

The prize is sponsored by investment management business Man Group, which also sponsors the Man Booker Prize for Fiction. Both prizes "strive to recognise and reward the finest in contemporary literature".

The longlist for the latter, the Man Booker Prize 2016, is due to be announced on 27th July, in what will be the third year that the £50,000 prize has been open to any writer, writing originally in English and published in the UK, irrespective of nationality.