George Saunders Has Won the First Folio Prize

George Saunders, author of Tenth of December, has won the Folio prize - peoplewhowrite

George Saunders

George Saunders’ Tenth of December was honored with the inaugural Folio Prize–and a £40,000 check. The story collection bested Rachel Kushner’s The Flame Throwers and Eimear McBride’s A Girl Is A Half-Formed Thing which both just made the Baileys longlist, as well as Anne Carson’s Red Doc, Amity Gaige’s Schroder, Jane Gardam’s Last Friends, Kent Haruf’s Benediction, and A Naked Singularity by Sergio De La Pava.

Folio Prize jury chair Lavinia Greenlaw described Saunders’ work as “both artful and profound. Darkly playful, they take us to the edge of some of the most difficult questions of our time and force us to consider what lies behind and beyond them.” The judges were authors Michael Chabon, Sarah Hall, Nam Le, and Pankaj Mishra–part of an Academy Folio has created boasting 110 literary luminaries–and chosen by lots to ensure “three members from the UK, and two from outside the UK, and there must be no more than three members of the same gender.”

Founded at the end of 2012 by agent Andrew Kidd and Aitken Alexander, The Folio was conceived to reward literary excellence irrespective of gender or nationality.

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The Folio Prize Announces Inaugural Shortlist

A Naked Singularity: A Novel by Sergio De La Pava - peoplewhowriteThe Folio Prize which was founded at the end of 2012 by Aitken Alexander and agent Andrew Kidd has released its first ever shortlist today, and the American-heavy roster is further stoking fears about the future of the Man Booker Prize. What initially distinguished the Folio from other prizes is that it would not restrict eligibility based on nationality, gender or genre as with other such prizes like the Caine or Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction. The Man Booker,  once restricted to authors of the British Commonwealth, has since opted to open its race to American authors to the consternation of some. We shall see who is deemed worthy to carry Folio’s £40,000 pot when the winner is announced on March 10th at London’s St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel. Until then, the shortlist is:

Red Doc by Anne Carson 
Schroder by Amity Gaige 
Last Friends by Jane Gardam 
Benediction by Kent Haruf 
The Flame Throwers 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