A Nigerian satirist and novelist, Elnathan John, has been unveiled as a member of the 2019 judging panel for the prestigious Man Booker International Prize, Friday.
Breaking the news on its website, the organizing body revealed that, “2019 will be the fourth year of the evolved Man Booker International Prize, which was originally launched in 2005.”
“The 2019 judging panel will be looking for the best work of translated fiction, selected from entries published in the UK and Ireland between 1 May 2018 and 30 April 2019,” they added.
An elated Mr John took to his social media platforms to share his shock at being considered for the panel. “So I have confirmed this information and it was not an error like I first thought,” he wrote on Twitter. And then finished in his typically comical style, “I now have to be respectable and serious. I will miss my former life. *weeps joyful tears*.”
Mr John was announced alongside the writer, translator and president of English PEN Maureen Freely, philosopher Professor Angie Hobbs FRSA, essayist and novelist Pankaj Mishra and with Bettany Hughes, award-winning historian, author and broadcaster as chair of the panel.
The Berlin-based writer was born in Kaduna and trained as lawyer at the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria. A two-time finalist for the Caine Prize for African Writing in 2013 and 2015, Mr John is the author of the widely acclaimed novel, Born on a Tuesday, a debut that tells the story of an young Almajiri and his tough choices growing up in conservative Northern Nigeria.
In 2017, he won a Betty Trask award and was finalist the NLNG-funded Nigeria Prize for Literature, the Republic of Consciousness Prize and the 2017 Hurston/Wright Legacy Award for Debut Fiction. Mr. John maintains a weekly satire column for Daily Trust newspapers and is one of Nigeria’s most well-known contemporary satirists.
A recipient of the 2018 Miles Morland Writing Scholarship, Mr John, who’s been a persistent human rights advocates, is “currently working on his next project which explores the history of a mountaineer revolt in the 1800s, in what is now north eastern Nigeria,” according to The Booker Prize.