Elif Shafak joins judging panel for Independent Foreign Fiction Prize

Elif Shafak joins judging panel for Independent Foreign Fiction Prize
(photo credit: Mehmet Turgut)
25 October 2012

Award-winning Turkish author Elif Shafak, whose novels have been translated into more than 30 languages, joins a prestigious panel of judges for the £10,000 Independent Foreign Fiction Prize 2013.

The Prize, created by The Independent newspaper in 1990 and supported by it since, is awarded annually for the best work of contemporary fiction in translation. It celebrates 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 2012.

Uniquely, the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize acknowledges both the author and the translator equally, recognising the importance of the translator in their ability to bridge the gap between languages and cultures.

The judges for this year's Prize are:

  • Jean Boase-Beier, Professor of Literature and Translation at the University of East Anglia
  • Novelist and former Lecturer in English at the University of Sussex, Gabriel Josipovici
  • Elif Shafak, an award-winning novelist and the most widely read woman writer in Turkey
  • Literary translator Frank Wynne
  • Boyd Tonkin, Literary Editor of The Independent


The Independent Foreign Fiction Prize ran previously between 1990 and 1995 and the Prize was revived with the support of Arts Council England in 2001. The £10,000 Prize money and associated costs are funded by Arts Council England who manage the Prize in partnership with Book Trust. The Prize is also supported by Champagne Taittinger.

Antonia Byatt, Director, Literature, Arts Council England comments:
'The Arts Council is pleased to support the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize which allows us to celebrate literary excellence and promote voices from around the world available in the English language. Judging the Prize demands sharp insight, international knowledge and a lot of hard work. The longlist and the shortlist are very influential in the industry internationally and are a fantastic way of helping readers explore fiction in translation.'

Boyd Tonkin, Literary Editor of The Independent comments:
'Since its revival with the support of Arts Council England, the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize has offered English-language readers, both in Britain and around the world, a unique and precious guide to the best in global fiction. The judges this year bring an extraordinary range of skill and talent to their task. I shall be delighted to work with them to celebrate the finest international writing, and the vital art of the translator, once again.'

Previous winners of the Prize include Milan Kundera in 1991 for Immortality translated by Peter Kussi; W G Sebald and translator, Anthea Bell, in 2002 for Austerlitz; and Per Petterson and translator, Anne Born, in 2006 for Out Stealing Horses. The 2012 winner was Blooms of Darkness by the Israeli author Aharon Appelfeld, translated from the Hebrew by Jeffrey M Green.


Longlist announcement: March 2013

Shortlist announcement: April 2013

Award Ceremony: May 2013

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