By Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief | @Porter_Anderson
Hadley: ‘Seized Us From the First Page’Today’s (February 15) award story from England features the 2022 shortlist released by the Rathbones Folio Prize.
To help you recall which award program this is:
- Previously known as the Literature Prize and the Folio Prize, the award is today sponsored by Rathbone Brothers Plc
- Like Waterstones, the prize’s name is written without an apostrophe, Rathbones
- Its visibility on the awards scene was interrupted by a one-year hiatus in 2016
- This award carries a handsome purse of £30,000 award (US$40,634)
- The Rathbones Folio Prize has a fine internationalist stance, in that it can be won by writers anywhere in the world working in English
- The program also has range in format: the honor can go to authors of fiction, nonfiction, or poetry
Of the eight shortlisted authors here, seven are based in the United Kingdom and/or Ireland. The eighth, whose work you may know because of his Booker Prize for Fiction win on November 3, is the South African novelist Damon Galgut.
This year, half the list is published by imprints and divisions of Penguin Random House. Three are from independent publishers (Faber & Faber, Bloodaxe, and Granta), and one is from HarperCollins.
Jurors this year are the authors Tessa Hadley, Rachel Long, and William Atkins.
The winner is to be announced on March 23 in an event at the British Library.
Rathbones Folio Prize 2022 Shortlist
- Natasha Brown, Assembly (Penguin Random House/Hamish Hamilton)
- Damon Galgut, The Promise (Penguin Random House/Chatto & Windus)
- Selima Hill, Men Who Feed Pigeons (Bloodaxe)
- Philip Hoare, Albert and the Whale (HarperCollins/4th Estate)
- Claire Keegan, Small Things Like These (Faber & Faber)
- Gwendoline Riley, My Phantoms (Granta)
- Sunjeev Sahota, China Room, (Penguin Random House,/Harvill Secker)
- Colm Tóibín, The Magician (Penguin Random House/Viking)
In a statement for the jury, Hadley, serving as the panel’s chair, is quoted, saying, “Our eight books were chosen from a fairly dazzling longlist of 20. The books under consideration are all nominated by writers, and so the quality of the work is very high. So many good books, prose fiction and poetry and nonfiction—so difficult to weigh one against another.
“We all brought certain passions to the table when we met. There were just a few books that had seized us from the first page and hadn’t let us down until the last, and then seemed even richer and larger on a second reading.”
The jurying process for the Rathbones Folio Prize draws on a pool of some 300 “academy members,” some of whom participate in nomination, jurying, and mentoring programming for secondary school students in low-income communities.
In 2021, writer Carmen Maria Machado was the Rathbones Folio winner for In the Dream House. Published by Greywolf Press in November 2019 in the United States—Machado is an American author—the book was released in the United Kingdom in January 2020 by Serpent’s Tail.
Prior to that, winners of the honor have been:
- 2020: Valeria Luiselli Lost Children Archive (4th Estate)
- 2019: Raymond Antrobus
- 2018; Richard Lloyd Parry
- 2017: Hisham Matar
- 2015: Akhil Sharma
- 2014: George Saunders
More from us on the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on international book publishing is here.