The Folio Prize

Folio Prize 2014

The shortlist for the first Folio Prize was announced today.  The eight nominated books are:

Red Doc by Anne Carson
Schroder by Amity Gaige
Last Friends by Jane Gardam
Benediction by Kent Haruf
The Flamethrowers by Rachel Kushner
A Girl is a Half-formed Thing by Eimear McBride
A Naked Singularity by Sergio de la Pava
Tenth of December by George Saunders

The Folio Prize is open to all works of fiction written in English in all forms and the first shortlist is certainly varied.  It includes a collection of short stories (‘Tenth of December’), “verse prose”, (‘Red Doc’) and a novel which was rejected by several publishers for being too experimental (‘A Girl is a Half-formed Thing’).  As usual, I have so far read none of them but I am particularly intrigued by ‘The Flamethrowers’, ‘A Naked Singularity’ and ‘Tenth of December’.  If you have read any of the shortlisted books, I would love to hear your thoughts.

The verdict so far seems to be that the shortlist is a strong one although the dominance of American authors has been widely commented on – five out of the eight nominated authors are from the United States.  However, the founder of the Prize, Andrew Kidd, has been keen to emphasise the “borderless” nature of the award saying “This is how it happened to turn out this year. Who knows how it might turn out next year.”  It will be interesting to see if any of these titles crop up in this year’s Man Booker Prize longlist now that it has been opened up to authors outside the Commonwealth.

The winner of the £40,000 prize will be announced on 10th March.


Filed under Books

8 responses to “The Folio Prize

  1. Tenth of December! My favourite read of last year…..


  2. Delighted to see Kent Haruf’s Plainsong on the list – beautiful, spare, pared back writing. I also enjoyed Schroder.


  3. I have read Plainsong. Kent Haruf’s writing is really spare and beautiful. Oh, I see someone already said that!


  4. I wonder what the criteria are for this prize, since Plainsong is quite an old book, from 2000. Anyone know? I think the Booker prize is usually new books.


  5. I wrote about Tenth of December on my blog I enjoyed the book and especially the title story, which dealt with suicide, a topic that was close to home for me.


  6. Pingback: The Man Booker Prize Longlist 2014 | A Little Blog of Books and Other Stuff

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