The New York-based philosopher, cultural theorist and novelist Kwame Anthony Appiah has just been named chair of the judges for the 2018 Man Booker Prize for Fiction, one of the most prestigious awards for fiction written in English. The Prize turns 50 next year, and during this significant anniversary Appiah will lead a panel of five judges in choosing the winner from eligible novels published between 1 October 2017 and 30 September 2018.
Kwame Anthony Appiah said: "Who could resist an invitation to join a diverse and distinguished group of fellow readers to explore together the riches of a year of Anglophone fiction, drawn from around the world? The excitement around the prize can help draw attention to brilliant books and worthy writers and creates one of the more interesting literary conversations each year. I'm delighted to contribute to that process."
Appiah, who is Professor of Philosophy and Law at New York University, was born in London in 1954, and grew up in Ghana. He has taught at Yale, Cornell, Duke, Harvard and Princeton universities in The USA, and at Cambridge university in the UK. He has lectured at many other institutions around the world. In 2012, President Obama presented him with the National Humanities Medal, in a ceremony at the White House.
Appiah specialises in moral and political philosophy, as well as issues of personal and political identity, history, colonialism, global citizenship and nationalism. He has published widely on ethics and culture. Next year, he will publish The Lies that Bind, about personal identity in the post-colonial globalised world. He has reviewed regularly for the New York Review of Books and writes the weekly The Ethicist column in the New York Times magazine. He is also the author of three mystery novels featuring the barrister-sleuth Sir Patrick Scott.
The longlist for the 2018 Man Booker Prize will be announced next July. The shortlist of six titles will be revealed in September, and the winner will be announced at an awards ceremony in October.
The 2017 Man Booker Prize for Fiction winner was Lincoln in the Bardo by American author George Saunders, published by Bloomsbury. In the week following its win, sales increased by 1227%!
The Man Booker Prize is sponsored by Man Group, an investment management firm.