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The Rathbone Folio Prize

Rathbones Folio Prize logoFollowing the 2011 Man Booker Prize, a group of representatives from across the book trade, including publishers, agents, critics and writers, set up what was at first called the Literature Prize, for which all English-language fiction would be eligible. A sponsorship with the Folio Society resulted in the name The Folio Prize being adopted and a prize fund of £40,000 for the winner.

In part it was a response to the 2011 Man Booker Prize shortlist, which was widely criticised for eschewing the more literary fiction that the Prize was set up to recognise, instead featuring more overtly populist fiction. A statement from the administrators said:

The sole criterion for judgment will be excellence: to identify works of fiction in which the story being told and the subjects being explored achieve their most perfect and thrilling expression.

Almost 200 eminent writers and critics from across the globe have been invited to join the Folio Prize Academy. Five of these are chosen at random each year to form the judging panel, with any chosen member for whom a conflict of interest might exist asked to step aside.

The other members choose a total of 60 books for the five judges to deliberate upon, with the panel also required to call in a further 20 books not put forward by the Academy. The panel chooses its shortlist of eight books from these 80 titles.

In December 2016, the prize announced that its new sponsor is Rathbone Investment Management Ltd. The prize is now to be awarded for the best work of literature, regardless of form.

Journalist Richard Lloyd Parry  was announced on 8th May as the winner of the prize this year for Ghosts of The Tsunami.

In announcing the prize The judges, Jim Crace, Nikesh Shukla and Kate Summerscale, said: “ It is a piece of heightened reportage about the 2011 Japanese earthquake and its devastating aftermaths, rendered as great literature. It is both harrowing and inspiring. Here is a book which not only interprets for a non-Japanese reader the subtleties and complexities of that nation’s life, especially its family life and how it copes with grief, but also has the depth and reach to close the gaps between other nations, other cultures. Read it and you will be changed for the better.”

 

2018 Shortlist

Anything is Possible
(Paperback)
Elizabeth Strout
 
ONE OF BARACK OBAMA'S BEST BOOKS OF 2017 Shortlisted for the Rathbones Folio Prize 2018 An unforgettable cast of small-town characters copes with love and loss ...
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Conversations with Friends
(Paperback)
Sally Rooney
 
WINNER OF THE SUNDAY TIMES / PFD YOUNG WRITER OF THE YEARA SUNDAY TIMES, OBSERVER AND TELEGRAPH BOOK OF THE YEARFrances is twenty-one years old, cool-headed and observant.
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Exit West
(Paperback)
Mohsin Hamid
 
his is Nadia. She is fiercely independent with an excellent sense of humour and a love of smoking alone on her balcony late at night. This is Saeed. He is...
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Ghosts of the Tsunami: Death and Life...
(Hardback)
Richard Lloyd Parry
 
On 11 March 2011, a massive earthquake sent a 120-foot-high tsunami smashing into the coast of north-east Japan. By the time the sea retreated, more than 18,000 people had been...
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Once Upon A Time in the East: A Story...
(Paperback)
Xiaolu Guo
 
*Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award* *Shortlisted for the Costa Biography Award**Shortlisted for the Jhalak Prize**Shortlisted for the Rathbones Folio Prize 2018**A Sunday Times Book of the Year*Xiaolu...
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Reservoir 13
(Paperback)
Jon McGregor
 
From the award-winning author of If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things. Reservoir 13 tells the story of many lives haunted by one family's loss. ...
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The Day That Went Missing
(Paperback)
Richard Beard
 
SHORTLISTED FOR THE RATHBONES FOLIO PRIZE 2018SHORTLISTED FOR THE JAMES TAIT BLACK PRIZE 2018My younger brother's name is Nicholas Beard.On a family holiday in Cornwall in 1978, Richard and Nicholas...
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White Tears
(Paperback)
Hari Kunzru
 
'A stunning, audacious new thriller... It will shock you, horrify you, unsettle you, and that's exactly the point. As brave as it is brutal, it lets nothing and nobody...
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Previous winners

2017 THE RETURN; Fathers, Sons and the Land in Between Hisham Matar

2015 Family Life by Akhil Sharma

2014 Tenth of December by George Saunders

 

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