Hot Off the Press (so to speak)

I just received the following information from the Folio Society by email:

The Folio Prize shortlist

This morning at the British Library, the judges of the 2014 Folio Prize, headed by Chair Lavinia Greenlaw, announced the eight titles on the much-anticipated inaugural shortlist. As sponsors of The Folio Prize, we wanted to ensure that our members would be among the first to discover this stellar list of new writing. The Folio Prize aims to recognise and celebrate the best English-language fiction published in the UK in a given year, regardless of form, genre or the author’s country of origin. The winner of the very first Folio Prize – worth £40,000 – will be announced at a ceremony taking place on Monday 10 March in London.

The eight books in contention are:

Red Doc> by Anne Carson (Random House / Jonathan Cape)
Schroder by Amity Gaige (Faber & Faber)
Last Friends by Jane Gardam (Little, Brown)
Benediction by Kent Harouf (Picador)
The Flame Throwers by Rachel Kushner (Random House/ Harvill Secker)
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)

At The Folio Society we are passionate champions of great literature. In sponsoring The Folio Prize, our hope was that we could continue this tradition of excellence and uncover the best fiction of our time, books that will be read and admired for decades to come. This outstanding shortlist, which consists of five US or US-based writers, one British, one Canadian and one Irish, confirms our expectations.

You can watch a video here which explains the concept behind The Folio Prize and our reasons for sponsoring it, and presents the shortlisted authors.

On a personal note, I have not read any of the above yet, though I have recently read and very much enjoyed the first book in Jane Gardam’s Old Filth trilogy, of which Last Friends is the third book (and have seen nothing but great comments about her other two books). I also have Tenth of December cued on the MP3 player, so will probably give that a listen very soon.

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