Brief thoughts regarding the inaugural Folio Prize, awarded March 10

March 19, 2014 § Leave a comment

Some awards just garner more attention than others, apparently.  Or perhaps some of us who have pretensions of being aware of English-language literary awards just are not all that aware.  Regardless, the inaugural Folio Prize shortlist (announced February 10) and the winner (announced March 10) managed to slip by without me being aware of it (to be fair, I did not see any mention of it on any of the lit sites that I regularly browse).  It is a bit of a shame, as the shortlist intrigues me, containing works that I have read and a few I’ve been meaning to check out for some time.  Perhaps in late April, when I resume buying books, I’ll check some of these titles out.

Red Doc by Anne Carson (Random House/Jonathan Cape) – I believe this was a finalist for one of the Kitschie Awards.  Just released in the US; will buy in April.
Schroder by Amity Gaige (Faber & Faber)
Last Friends by Jane Gardam (Little, Brown)
Benediction by Kent Haruf (Picador)
The Flame Throwers by Rachel Kushner (Random House/Harvill Secker) – National Book Award finalist
A Girl Is A Half-Formed Thing by Eimear McBride (Galley Beggar Press)
A Naked Singularity by Sergio De La Pava (Maclehose Editions)
Tenth of December by George Saunders (Bloomsbury) – Winner.  Also National Book Award finalist.

The Saunders collection was one of my favorite 2013 reads (the Kushner was another), so at first glance, without having read six of the other shortlisted titles, it seems like a good selection.  Now to pay greater attention around this time next year.  Perhaps the Folio Prize will have a higher profile by then.
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