The media have zoomed into the shortlist for the inaugural Folio Prize to focus on the dominance of US-based writers. I can’t see the problem and don’t think I could spot the difference on a blind test. Could you?
The argument goes that, with the Booker now also open to everyone, American authors will win everything. I disagree. It’s up to writers, from wherever they’re based, to write the best story they can and for judges to choose the best book they read, regardless of whether the writer was born in Boston, Mass. or Boston, Lincs.
The Bookseller are whining about US domination and even Galley Beggar Press who published Eimear McBride’s debut, which recently won the Goldsmith’s Prize, temper the news of her shortlisting by raising the spectre of ‘Team Europe’ (whoever they are?). Stop!
Eimear McBride is on the shortlist with A Girl is a Half-formed Thing– hurrah. So is Jane Gardam for Last Friends– double hurrah. So is Rachel Kushner with The Flame Throwers – triple hurrah.
- Good writing is good writing no matter where the writer happens to live when they write.
Here’s a link to the announcement on the Folio Prize website.
Here’s the shortlist:
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 Haruf (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