Winner Announced of Inaugural Folio Prize
11th March 2014
The first winner of the first Folio Prize has been announced as George Saunders for his short story collection Tenth of December.
Chair of judges, Lavinia Greenlaw said of the panel's choice: 'George Saunders's stories are 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. His subject is the human self under ordinary and extraordinary pressure. His worlds are heightened versions of our own, full of inexorable confrontations from which we are not easily released. Unflinching, delightful, adventurous, compassionate, he is a true original whose work is absolutely of the moment. We have no doubt that these stories will prove only more essential in years to come.'
Also on the judging panel were Michael Chabon, Sarah Hall, Nam Le and Pankaj Mishra.
Andrew Kidd, founder of The Folio Prize, described Saunders as 'one of the great writers of our age' and 'one of the undisputed masters of his form'.
His book had already been shortlisted for the 2013 National Book Award and also won this year's Story Prize.
The other shortlisted titles were: 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 and A Naked Singularity by Sergio De La Pava.
The prize is open to any English-language fiction from any nationality. This year, for the first time, the Man Booker Prize is to open up to authors around the world rather than just to those from the Commonwealth, Ireland or Zimbabwe.
Sergio De La Pava