Submitted by Leah on Thu, 2013-12-12 06:42
The countdown to the Man Booker Prize 2014 gets underway with the announcement of the judges.
Chaired by the philosopher and writer, AC Grayling, the other 2014 judges are: Jonathan Bate, Oxford Professor of English Literature and biographer; Sarah Churchwell, UEA’s Professor of American Literature; Dr Daniel Glaser, neuroscientist and cultural commentator; Dr Alastair Niven, former Director of Literature at the British Council and at the Arts Council, and Erica Wagner, journalist and writer.
2014 is the first year of the new rules, which will see the prize opened up to writers of any nationality, writing originally in English, for novels published in the UK by an established imprint between 1 October 2013 and 30 September 2014. The expanded prize will recognise, celebrate and embrace authors of literary fiction writing in English, whether from Chicago, Sheffield or Shanghai.
In what will be an exciting new era for the prize, the panel consists of three new judges and three who have previously judged the prize - Alastair Niven in 1994, Erica Wagner in 2002 and AC Grayling in 2003. For this inaugural year, the number of judges increases from five to six, bringing with them a wide reading experience and knowledge of international literature.
The judges’ mission remains the same as in previous years: to select the finest fiction of the year. Following her win in October 2013, Eleanor Catton said of the expansion of the prize: ‘I think it’s a really great thing that finally we’ve got a prize that is an English-language prize that doesn’t make a distinction towards writers who are writing from a particular country. If you’re writing in the English language, you’re considered alongside everybody else.’
AC Grayling comments on behalf of the panel:
'The Man Booker prize has become an even bigger entity this year, with all fiction in English published worldwide between October 2013 and October 2014 now joining the competition. The challenge for my fellow judges and me is an exciting one, and I'm delighted to have such an outstanding group of people to work with in this highly significant year for the prize. We welcome that challenge, and are now launching ourselves into it with relish.'