Viv Groskop replaces Mel Giedroyc as 2022 International Booker judge

Announced 2 September 2021

Mel Giedroyc, who was announced in July as a judge for the 2022 International Booker Prize, has unexpectedly had to step down for personal reasons. She will be replaced on the judging panel by Viv Groskop, writer, comedian and TV, radio and podcast presenter. Viv joins a panel chaired by translator, Frank Wynne, and consisting of: author and academic Merve Emre; writer and lawyer Petina Gappah; and translator and author Jeremy Tiang.

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.

Publication date and time: Published

The full press release can be downloaded here.

Fiammetta Rocco, Administrator of the International Booker Prize, comments:
‘We’re excited to welcome Viv to this year’s judging panel, and delighted that she has been able to step in. It’s unfortunate that Mel has had to withdraw but we wish her all the very best and hope she is able to join a judging panel at a later date.’

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 0f 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.

Viv Groskop is a writer, critic, broadcaster and stand-up comedian. She is the author of five books including Au Revoir, Tristesse: Lessons in Happiness from French Literature (Abrams) and The Anna Karenina Fix: Life Lessons from Russian Literature (Penguin), which recently became a bestseller in translation in Russia. She is the host of the chart-topping podcast How to Own the Room, which has had over 750,000 downloads and features such guests as Hillary Clinton, Margaret Atwood and Professor Mary Beard talking about female power and public speaking. She is a regular on BBC Radio 4 and has presented Front Row, Saturday Review and Saturday Live.

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.