The judges for the 2022 International Booker Prize are revealed, today 14 July 2021, as the prize opens for submissions.

The panel is chaired by translator, Frank Wynne, and consists of: author and academic Merve Emre; writer and lawyer Petina Gappah; TV presenter, writer and actor Mel Giedroyc; and translator and author Jeremy Tiang. This is the first time a translator has chaired the panel.

Publication date and time: Published

The full press release can be downloaded here.

The International Booker Prize, with its focus on the importance of translation and the £50,000 prize split equally between author and translator, continues to build in global importance each year.  This year, the shortlisted authors and translators will each receive £2,500, increased from £1,000 in previous years. The 2022 judging panel will be looking for the best work of translated fiction, selected from entries published in the UK or Ireland between 1 May 2021 and 30 April 2022.

The announcement of the 2021 winner, At Night All Blood is Black, was met with both public and critical acclaim, with the book’s publisher, Pushkin Press, ordering a five-figure reprint the day after the winner announcement. The week following the winner announcement, sales of At Night All Blood is Black saw a 477% sale increase on the week before. President Barack Obama, a keen follower of both of The Booker Prizes, listed At Night All Blood is Black at the top of his summer reading list.

Frank Wynne, Chair of the 2022 International Booker Prize judges, comments:
‘There is no art more intimate than fiction, no connection more electrifying than that between writer and reader. Among an author’s most privileged, most attentive readers are the translators tasked with bringing a work from one language to another. To this day, I am in awe of the strange magic performed by people I now consider colleagues, and friends. I feel excited and daunted to set out on this global journey with such a distinguished group of judges, eager to discover what countries we will visit, what voices we will hear, what stories we will be told. I can imagine no better way to spend a year than in the company of some of the finest writers and their translators from around the globe.’

Fiammetta Rocco, Administrator of the International Booker Prize, adds:
‘The five judges, led by Frank Wynne, bring together a wealth of experience as world-class readers, writers, critics and translators. The discussions they will have about the books in contention for the 2022 International Booker Prize will be a masterclass of modern literary appreciation.’

The ‘Booker Dozen’ of 12 or 13 books on the 2022 International Prize longlist will be announced in March 2022 and the shortlist of six books in April. The winners will be announced in May.

About the judges

Frank Wynne is an Irish literary translator from French and Spanish. Over a career spanning more than 20 years, he has translated a wide variety of authors, including Michel Houellebecq, Patrick Modiano, Emiliano Monge, Alice Zeniter and Virginie Despentes.  His translations have garnered a number of awards, including the 2002 IMPAC Dublin Literary Award (jointly with the author) for Atomised by Michel Houellebecq, and the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize (2005). He has twice been awarded both the Scott Moncrieff Prize for translation from the French and the Premio Valle Inclán for translation from Spanish. Most recently, his translation of Animalia by Jean-Baptiste del Amo won the 2020 Republic of Consciousness Prize. He has edited two major anthologies, Found in Translation: 100 of the finest short stories ever translated (2018) and QUEER: LGBTQ Writing from Ancient Times to Yesterday (2021), both published by Head of Zeus.

Merve Emre is Turkish-American author and academic. She is Associate Professor of English Literature at the University of Oxford. She is the author of several books, including The Personality Brokers, which was selected as one of the best books of 2018 by many US and UK publications and adapted as the 2021 HBO documentary film Persona. She is a regular contributor to The New Yorker and The New York Review of Books. A 2019 winner of the Philip Leverhulme Prize, in 2020 she was a fellow at the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin. 

Petina Gappah is a Zimbabwean writer and lawyer. She is currently the Principal Legal Advisor to the Secretary-General of the African Continental Free Trade Area based in Accra, Ghana. As well as being an international trade lawyer, Petina is a novelist and playwright. She is the author of two novels Out of Darkness, Shining Light and The Book of Memory, and two short-story collections, Rotten Row and An Elegy for Easterly. Her work has been published in more than a dozen languages, including by The New Yorker and Der Spiegel.  She is the recipient of the Chautauqua Prize, the McKitterick Prize, the Guardian First Book Award and Zimbabwe’s NAMA Award.

Mel Giedroyc is a British TV presenter, writer and actor. She studied Modern Languages at Trinity College, Cambridge. Giedroyc is best known for her work alongside Sue Perkins, with shows such as the multi Bafta-winning Great British Bake Off (BBC) and Light Lunch (Channel 4) having made them household names. Giedroyc has appeared in sitcoms and panel shows, as well as on stage, most recently in Stephen Sondheim’s Olivier Award winning Company at the Gielgud Theatre in the West End. Mel and Sue are reunited in their latest comedy series Hitmen for Sky (Season 2 out in 2021). Giedroyc can also be seen hosting a new comedy panel show Unforgivable (Dave) and Good With Wood (C4) later in 2021. Her first novel The Best Things was released on 1 April 2021.

Jeremy Tiang is the translator of more than 20 books from Chinese, including novels by Yan Ge, Yeng Pway Ngon and Chan Ho-Kei, as well as the author of It Never Rains on National Day and State of Emergency, the latter of which won the Singapore Literature Prize in 2018. He also writes and translates plays. Originally from Singapore, he now lives in New York City.