Obioma named Booker Prize judge

Photo Credit: Chigozie Obioma
Wed, 12/16/2020 - 10:18

Chigozie Obioma, James E. Ryan Associate Professor in the Department of English and bestselling author, has been named a 2021 Booker Prize judge.

The prize is one of literature's top international awards, recognizing outstanding fiction in the English-speaking world. Obioma is among only a handful of authors who have been shortlisted twice, and he accomplished it with back-to-back novels.

"[The prize is] the most prestigious literary award in the world for long fiction," Marco Abel, Willa Cather Professor of English and Film Studies and chair of the department, said. "Being on the jury is an incredible honor."

The judging panel looks for the best work of long-form fiction, selected from entries published between October 1, 2020 and September 30, 2021. The 'Booker Dozen' of 12 or 13 books will be announced in July 2021 with the shortlist of six books to follow in the fall and the winner announced in November.

Obioma's novels have been translated into more than 30 languages and have won numerous awards. His first novel, The Fishermen, was adapted into an award-winning stage play.

"The 2021 panel of judges is stellar," Gaby Wood, Literary Director of the Booker Prize Foundation, said, "distinguished and exacting, open-minded and hopeful...I can't wait to hear them discuss the results of their reading together."