Nigerian born award-winning novelist Helen Oyeyemi has joined a prestigious panel of judges for the £10,000 Independent Foreign Fiction Prize 2015.
Oyeyemi who currently lives in Prague and has five novels won the Somerset Maugham award in 2010 for her novel White is for Witching and was last year named one of Granta’s Best Young British Novelists.
The Prize, which celebrates its 25th anniversary in 2015, is awarded annually for the best work of contemporary fiction in translation. It honours an exceptional work of fiction by a living author which has been translated into English from any other language and published in the United Kingdom in 2014. The author and translator equal receives £5,000 recognising the importance of the translator in their ability to bridge the gap between languages and cultures. Thats a lot of cheddar
Speaking on being included on the panel Helen Oyeyemi said:
‘My favourite books don’t have that much in common aside from what I’ll just call personality; sometimes that’s to do with style and sometimes that’s to do with a text seeming to respond to being read in real time. The only real way to be sure I get to read as many of these books as possible is to learn every language currently in literary use. But then there’d be no time to read. So judging this prize is my best chance for this upcoming year.’
The key dates for the award include the Longlist announcement in March 2015, the Shortlist announcement in April 2015 and the Award Ceremony May 2015.
P.S. There are other people on the panel who I cannot do a blog post without mentioning. They are broadcaster and journalist Rosie Goldsmith, literary translator Antonia Lloyd-Jones, translator and academic Richard Mansell and longstanding judge Boyd Tonkin, senior writer and columnist at The Independent.