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Elnathan John.

Nigerian novelist Elnathan John is among the judges for the 2019 Man Booker International Prize. The panel includes writer, translator and president of English PEN Maureen Freely; philosopher Professor Angie Hobbs FRSA; essayist and novelist Pankaj Mishra; and is chaired by award-winning historian, author and broadcaster Bettany Hughes.

Sponsored by Man Group, sponsors of the more famous Man Booker Prize for Fiction, the £50,000 Man Booker International Prize honours the best work of translated fiction in English, selected from entries published in the UK and Ireland in the given year. The prize is split equally between the author and the translator. The 2018 prize was won by the Polish author, Olga Tokarczuk, and her translator, Jennifer Croft, for Flights, published by Fitzcarraldo Editions.

Commenting on the panel, chair Bettany 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, said:

“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 2019 prize longlist 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.

Elnathan John‘s debut novel, Born on a Tuesday, a coming-of-age story about Islam, politics and culture set in northern Nigeria, won a 2017 Betty Trask Award and was shortlisted for the 2016 Nigeria Prize for Literature, the 2017 Republic of Consciousness Prize, and the 2017 Hurston/Wright Legacy Award for Debut Fiction. He has twice been shortlisted for the Caine Prize, in 2013 and 2015. A recipient of the 2018 Miles Morland Writing Scholarship, he is currently working on his next project which explores the history of a mountaineer revolt in the 1800s, in what is now Northeastern Nigeria. He writes a weekly satire column for Nigeria’s Daily Trust newspaper. He lives and works in Berlin.

Congratulations to Elnathan John.

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OTOSIRIEZE is a writer, literary journalist, former academic, and Deputy Editor of Brittle Paper. A judge for the 2019 Gerald Kraak Award, he is an editor at 14, Nigeria’s first queer art collective which has published two volumes: WE ARE FLOWERS and THE INWARD GAZE. He is the curator of ART NAIJA SERIES, a sequence of themed e-anthologies of writing and visual art exploring different aspects of Nigerianness: ENTER NAIJA: THE BOOK OF PLACES (October, 2016) focuses on cities in Nigeria; WORK NAIJA: THE BOOK OF VOCATIONS (June, 2017) focuses on professions in Nigeria. His fiction has appeared in The Threepenny Review and Transition, and has been shortlisted for the Miles Morland Writing Scholarship and the Gerald Kraak Award, both in 2016, and a Pushcart Prize in 2015. He attended the 2018 Miles Morland Foundation Creative Writing Workshop. He has completed a collection of short stories, YOU SING OF A LONGING, and is working on a novel. He is represented by David Godwin Associates literary agency. He combined history and literature at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka and taught English at Godfrey Okoye University, Enugu. When bored, the boy just Googles Rihanna. Find him at otosirieze.com, where he accepts editing and writing offers, or on Instagram or Twitter: @otosirieze.

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