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Kwame Anthony Appiah to chair the 2018 Man Booker Prize for Fiction for its 50th year

Kwame Anthony Appiah to chair the 2018 Man Booker Prize for Fiction for its 50th year

The philosopher, cultural theorist and novelist Kwame Anthony Appiah is today, 5 December 2017, named chair of the judges for the 2018 Man Booker Prize for Fiction, the most prestigious award for fiction written in English. During the prize’s 50th anniversary year, he will lead a panel of five judges in choosing the best novel published between 1 October 2017 and 30 September 2018.

Kwame Anthony Appiah comments:

‘Who could resist an invitation to join a diverse and distinguished group of fellow readers to explore together the riches of a year of Anglophone fiction, drawn from around the world?  The excitement around the prize can help draw attention to brilliant books and worthy writers and creates one of the more interesting literary conversations each year.  I'm delighted to contribute to that process.’

Appiah, who is Professor of Philosophy and Law at New York University, was born in London in 1954, and grew up in Ghana. He studied philosophy at the University of Cambridge and taught at the University of Ghana before receiving his doctorate in Philosophy from Cambridge in 1982. He is an Honorary Fellow of Clare College, Cambridge, has taught at Yale, Cornell, Duke, Harvard and Princeton universities, and lectured at many other institutions around the world. In 2012, President Obama presented him with the National Humanities Medal, in a ceremony at the White House.

Professor Appiah specialises in moral and political philosophy, as well as issues of personal and political identity, history, colonialism, global citizenship and nationalism. In 2016, he gave the Reith Lectures on the subject of ‘Mistaken Identities’, and a book based on them, The Lies that Bind, will be published in 2018. His award-winning collection of essays, In My Father’s House, explores the role of African and African-American intellectuals in shaping contemporary African cultural life. It won the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award as well as the Herskovits Award of the African Studies Association for ‘the most important scholarly work in African studies published in English’. His book Cosmopolitanism: Ethics in a World of Strangers won the 2007 Arthur Ross Award of the Council on Foreign Relations and in 2010 he published The Honour Code: How Moral Revolutions Happen, which the New York Times called ‘fascinating, erudite and beautifully written’.

He has reviewed regularly for the New York Review of Books and writes the weekly The Ethicist’ column in the New York Times magazine. He is also the author of three mystery novels featuring the barrister-sleuth Sir Patrick Scott.

Appiah, who is the grandson of Sir Stafford Cripps, the Chancellor of the Exchequer in Clement Attlee’s post-war government, lives between New York City and New Jersey with his husband, Henry Finder, Editorial Director of the New Yorker magazine.

The 12 or 13 titles longlisted for the 2018 Man Booker Prize – ‘The Man Booker Dozen’ – will be announced in July 2018. The shortlist of six titles will be revealed in September 2018 and the winner of the 2018 Man Booker Prize will be announced at an awards ceremony in October.

The 2017 Man Booker Prize for Fiction winner was Lincoln in the Bardo by American author George Saunders, published by Bloomsbury. In the week following the winner announcement, sales of Lincoln in the Bardo increased by 1227%.

The Man Booker Prize is sponsored by Man Group, an active investment management firm.

To hear the most up-to-date news on the prize, listen to the Man Booker Prize Podcast series, or to learn more about the prize’s history and share your thoughts online, please visit:

www.themanbookerprize.com

@ManBookerPrize | #FinestFiction |#ManBooker2018

For all press enquiries please contact:

Four Colman Getty on +44(0)20 3697 4200

Hannah Davies [email protected] 

Alice Furse [email protected]  

 

 

Notes to Editors

 

  • Photographs of Kwame Anthony Appiah are available from Four Colman Getty
  • For the Man Booker Prize, UK publishers may submit novels written in English and published in the UK between 1 October 2017 and 30 September 2018. The number of books a publisher can submit will depend on that publisher’s inclusion in longlists over the previous five years, as follows:
  • 1 submission – publishers with no longlistings
  • 2 submissions – publishers with 1 or 2 longlisting(s)
  • 3 submissions – publishers with 3 or 4 longlistings
  • 4 submissions – publishers with 5 or more longlistings

 

This means that the number of submissions for each publisher may change from year to year. A new work by any author who has previously been shortlisted for the Booker (pre-2002) or Man Booker Prize is automatically eligible

  • The judges ‘call in’ a number of novels each year: in addition to their main submission, a publisher may nominate up to five titles for consideration, accompanied by a justification from the editor. The judges are required to call in no fewer than eight and no more than 12 of these titles. The judges are also permitted to call in other books published within the requisite dates, even if the book has not been submitted through any other route

 

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

 

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

 

  • George Saunders won the 2017 Man Booker Prize for Fiction with Lincoln in the Bardo (Bloomsbury Publishing). Bloomsbury issued an immediate reprint of 100,000 copies, along with the publication of a special Waterstones’ edition. In the week following the 2017 winner announcement, sales of Lincoln in the Bardo increased by 1227%. The book was announced as the Sunday Times’ novel of the Year.

 

  • The Man Booker Prize for Fiction was first awarded in 1969 and has been sponsored by Man Group since 2002. The long-term future of the prize was secured in 2011 with the announcement of a renewed 10-year sponsorship from Man Group. The title ‘Booker Prize’ therefore only applies to prize years 1969 – 2001, before Man Group’s sponsorship began, and since 2002 it has been called The Man Booker Prize for Fiction. It would be greatly appreciated if you could ensure that your editorial is factually correct by referring to the prize’s full title at least once, if not in the headline, then in your next subsequent mention. For a full history of the prize including previous winners, shortlisted authors and judges visit the website: www.themanbookerprize.com

 

  • The Man Booker International Prize is awarded annually in May for the best single work of fiction translated into English and published in the UK. The £50,000 prize is divided equally between the author and the translator. Each shortlisted author and translator receives £1,000. The 2017 winner was A Horse Walks into a Bar by David Grossman, translated by Jessica Cohen. Chaired by author and cultural commentator Lisa Appignanesi OBE, the 2018 panel consists of: translator Michael Hofmann; novelist and essayist Hari Kunzru; critic Tim Martin; and novelist and short story writer Helen Oyeyemi. The winner will be announced on 22 May 2018

 

  • 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; Ben Okri – writer and 1991 Booker Prize winner; Christopher Pearce – former Finance Director of Rentokil plc; Professor Louise Richardson – Vice Chancellor of the University of Oxford. Jonathan Taylor CBE is President of the Foundation and Sir Ronald Harwood, Baroness Neuberger and Baroness Nicholson of Winterbourne are Vice Presidents

 

  • 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 – Man Group plc; Nigel Newton – publisher, Bloomsbury; Fiammetta Rocco – Culture Editor, The Economist and 1843 and 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

 

  • 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 prizes play 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 portfolio 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 30 September 2017, Man Group’s funds under management were $103.5 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 www.man.com

 

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

 

  • The Booker Prize Foundation has a longstanding partnership with RNIB (Royal National Institute of Blind People available to the tens of thousands of blind and partially sighted members of the RNIB Library. People with sight loss). The Foundation funds the production of the shortlisted titles in braille, giant print and audio, which the sight loss charity produces by the date the winner is announced. Accessible versions are then made have a limited choice of books in accessible formats and often have to wait much longer than their sighted peers for titles to be made available to them - and there are many more books that they will never have the chance to read. The Foundation is working with RNIB to change this story. For further information contact the RNIB PR Team on 020 7391 2223 or [email protected]

 

  • The Booker Prize Foundation has partnered with the National Literary Trust since 2012 to deliver Books Unlocked. The Foundation funds the programme, which has transformed the lives of prisoners and young offenders in the UK by helping them develop a love of reading. Prisoners are able to engage with high-quality writing as copies of Man Booker Prize shortlisted titles are sent out to prison reading groups. These same titles are also serialised as audiobooks on National Prison Radio, which is broadcast into c.80,000 cells, enabling still more prisoners to experience these exceptional stories. Authors go into prisons to discuss their writing directly with reading groups and many also record interviews on National Prison Radio. The shared vision for Books Unlocked is to bring about positive change in prisoners’ life chances. Further information is available at: literacytrust.org.uk/programmes/books-unlocked/

 

  • The Booker Prize Archive was given on loan in 2003 to Oxford Brookes University where it now resides

 

Four Colman Getty

December 2017