Petina Gappah

Petina Gappah was announced as one of the judges of the International Booker Prize 2022 today, July 14, 2021. The prize is also now open for submissions.

The Booker Prize for Fiction is a literary prize awarded each year for the best original novel written in the English language and published in the United Kingdom. Some of the previous African winners of the prize founded in 1969 have been Marlon James, Nadine Gordimer, J. M. Coetzee, and Ben Okri. In 2019, the prize was controversially awarded jointly to Bernadine Evaristo and another writer.

The 2022 cycle of the prize kicked off with the announcement of the judging panel for the year. The panel will be chaired by 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.

Frank Wynne, Chair of the 2021 International Booker Prize judges, said:

‘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.’

Petina Gappah is a Zimbabwean lawyer and writer who has written the short story collections An Elegy For Easterly (2009) and Rotten Row (2016) and the novels The Book of Memory (2015) and Out of Darkness, Shining Light (2019). Sharing on the announcement she Tweeted;

This will be LIT, pun intended.🔥

I’m thrilled to be one of the judges of the 2022 International Booker Prize.

I look forward to meeting this brilliant panel, to immersive and intensive reading and to what I love most about shared reading: talking and arguing about books!

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.