The 2022 Rathbones Folio Prize will be awarded on Wednesday 23rd March
I am thrilled to be bringing you all the exciting details of the upcoming Rathbones Folio Prize 2022. It is an honour to have been asked to read and review the shortlisted books on my blog over the next while so please do keep an eye out for my reviews.
The winner of the Rathbones Folio Prize will be announced in a ceremony
at the British Library on Wednesday 23rd March.
This year’s prize recognises internationally renowned talent from the UK, Ireland and South Africa, as well as celebrating a blistering debut novelist. First awarded in 2014, the Rathbones Folio Prize is open to all works of literature written in English and published in the UK, and is worth £30,000. All genres and all forms of literature are eligible, except work written primarily for children.
The Rathbones Folio Prize – known as the “writers’ prize” – rewards the best work of literature of the year, regardless of form. It is the only award governed by an international academy of distinguished writers, ensuring a unique quality and consistency in the nomination and judging process.
The shortlisted titles are: Natasha Brown’s Assembly, The Promise by Damon Galgut, Selima Hill’s Men Who Feed Pigeons, Philip Hoare’s Albert and the Whale, Small Things Like These by Claire Keegan, My Phantoms by Gwendoline Riley, Sunjeev Sahota’s China Room and Colm Tóibín’s The Magician
To celebrate the announcement of the 2022 shortlist, Rathbones Folio Prize have teamed up with the Times Literary Supplement to give you the chance to win a complete set of the eight shortlisted books via Twitter.
Further details are available HERE
(The competition closes at midnight at 23:59:59 GMT on Friday 18 March 2022)
Now lets take a closer look at the shortlist…
Assembly ~ Natasha Brown (Hamish Hamilton/Penguin General)
The narrator of Assembly is a Black British woman. She is preparing to attend a lavish garden party at her boyfriend’s family estate, set deep in the English countryside. At the same time, she is considering the carefully assembled pieces of herself. As the minutes tick down and the future beckons, she can’t escape the question: is it time to take it all apart? Assembly is a story about the stories we live within – those of race and class, safety and freedom, winners and losers. And it is about one woman daring to take control of her own story, even at the cost of her life.
Natasha Brown has worked in financial services for the last ten years and studied Maths at Cambridge University. She developed Assembly after receiving a 2019 London Writers Award in the literary fiction category and she lives in London.
The Promise ~ Damon Galgut (Chatto & Windus/Vintage)
The Promise charts the crash and burn of a white South African family, living on a farm outside Pretoria. In this story of a family diminished, sharp and tender emotional truths hit home. Confident, deft and quietly powerful, it is a taut novel from a masterful writer.
Damon Galgut has twice been shortlisted for the Booker Prize and he won it in 2021 for The Promise. His has been nominated for the Walter Scott Prize and Impac Award and his fiction has been published in sixteen languages. The film based on his novel, The Quarry, starring Michael Shannon, was released in 2020. Damon Galgut lives and works in Cape Town.
Men Who Feed Pigeons ~ Selima Hill (Bloodaxe)
Men Who Feed Pigeons brings together seven contrasting but complementary poem sequences by ‘this brilliant lyricist of human darkness’ (Fiona Sampson) relating to men and different kinds of women’s relationships with men.
Selima Hill has been shortlisted for all three of the UK’s major poetry awards: the Forward Prize, T.S. Eliot Prize, and Whitbread/ Costa Poetry Prize. Bunny (2001), won the Whitbread Poetry Award. She lives in Dorset.
Albert and the Whale ~ Philip Hoare (4th Estate)
An illuminating exploration of the intersection between life, art and the sea from the award-winning author of Leviathan.
Philip Hoare is the author of eight works of non-fiction, including Leviathan, or The Whale, which won the 2009 Samuel Johnson Prize for non-fiction. Hoare is also an experienced broadcaster, a Visiting Fellow at Southampton University, and Leverhulme Artist-in-Residence at The Marine Institute, Plymouth University, which awarded him an honorary doctorate in 2011. He lives in Southampton.
Small Things Like These ~ Claire Keegan (Faber)
An exquisite winter tale of courage and its cost, set in Catholic Ireland, this is an unforgettable story of hope, quiet heroism and tenderness.
Claire Keegan was brought up on a farm in Ireland. Her stories have won numerous awards and are translated into more than 20 languages. Foster was named by The Times as one of the top 50 novels to be published in the 21st Century. Keegan now holds the Briena Staunton Fellowship at Pembroke College, Cambridge
My Phantoms ~ Gwendoline Riley (Granta)
An emotionally complex, caustic novel about the bond between two people, which will make you question everything you thought you knew about family, love and building a life.
Gwendoline Riley is the author of First Love, which was shortlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction, the Goldsmiths Prize, the Dylan Thomas Prize and the Gordon Burn Prize, and which won the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize; as well as Cold Water, Sick Notes, Joshua Spassky and Opposed Positions. In 2018, the TLS named her one of the twenty best British and Irish novelists working today.
China Room ~ Sunjeev Sahota (Harvill Secker/Vintage)
A heart-stopping story of love, family, survival and betrayal from the prize-winning author of The Year of the Runaways.
Sunjeev Sahota has been shortlisted for the 2015 Man Booker Prize, the International Dylan Thomas Prize and the Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year Award, and he has won the Encore Prize, the European Union Prize for Literature, and the South Bank Sky Arts Award. He was chosen as one of Granta’s Best Young British Novelists in 2013. He lives in Sheffield.
The Magician ~ Colm Tóibín (Viking/Penguin General)
From one of our greatest living writers comes a sweeping novel of unrequited love, exile, war and family. Colm Tóibín’s exhilarating new novel is, at once, the intimate portrait of a writer and, at the same time, the story of a turbulent century.
Colm Tóibín was born in Enniscorthy in 1955. He is the author of ten novels, and his work has been shortlisted for the Booker Prize three times, as well as the Folio Prize in 2015; and has won the Costa Novel Award, the Impac Award and the David Cohen Prize for Literature, amongst others. He lives in Dublin.
Last year, American author Carmen Maria Machado was awarded the 2021 Rathbones Folio Prize for her unflinchingly honest memoir of domestic abuse in a female relationship, In the Dream House (Serpent ’s Tail/Graywolf Press). The 2022 winner will also join previous winners Valeria Luiselli (2020), Raymond Antrobus (2019), Richard Lloyd Parry (2018), Hisham Matar (2017), Akhil Sharma (2015) and George Saunders (2014).
Please do come and join the conversation via: rathbonesfolioprize.com | @RathbonesFolio