Thursday 3 April 2014

Short story collection wins inaugural Folio Prize

US writer George Saunders has won the inaugural Folio Prize for his short story collection Tenth of December. The award, worth £40,000, was set up by people in the books industry who felt frustrated by what they see as the shortcomings of the Man Booker Prize.

Announcing the winner, Chair of the Judges Lavinia Greenlaw, said: “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.”

The stories in Tenth of December tackle disturbing subjects including rape and abduction. But they are moving and insightful and contain memorable laugh-out-loud moments. Saunders’ works have been compared to those of Kurt Vonnegut and were praised by the judges as truly original and "absolutely of the moment".

The other books shortlisted for the award were:
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

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