Shortlist for £30,000 Rathbones Folio Prize announced

The winner of the literary prize will be named in May.

The shortlist has been announced for the £30,000 Rathbones Folio Prize celebrating unique works of literature.

Judges have settled on a list of “passionate” books from a pool spanning the UK, Ireland, New Zealand and North America.

Booker Prize-winning novelist Anna Burns is among the eight authors chosen for their risk-taking and original work.

The Rathbones Folio Prize rewards the best literature in any form, and the shortlist boasts fiction, non-fiction and verse.

Kate Clanchy, chairwoman of judges for the 2019 prize, said: “Judges of literary prizes are supposed to engage in dark arguments, but the words my fellow judges kept saying to each other were ‘joy’ and ‘luck’ – a joy to read the fantastically wide ranging list, across geography and literary genres, nominated by the Folio Academy.

“Lucky to be reading at a time when the genres are recreating themselves so rapidly.

“We chose passionate, singular books, books which we felt took risks and pushed words and often the writer to new limits.”

Burns has been shortlisted for her prize-winning novel Milkman. Alice Jolly has been selected for Mary Ann Sate, Imbecile.

Carys Davies’s narrative West has been chosen by judges, along with There, There by Tommy Orange, and Diana Evans’s Ordinary People

Non-fiction is represented on the shortlist, selected by Folio Academy members, with Guy Stagg’s memoir The Crossway, Ashleigh Young’s essay collection Can You Tolerate This?, and Perseverance by poet Raymond Antrobus.

All authors were selected from a list of 80 works of fiction, non-fiction and poetry. The £30,000 prize will be awarded at a ceremony at the British Library in London on May 20 2019.

Clanchy, Chloe Aridjis and Owen Sheers make up the judging panel for 2019.

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