Just a short post today, but I was lucky enough to be invited to the event held at Rathbones HQ near Moorgate last night for the announcement of the Rathbones Folio Prize Shortlist. Thank you to publicists FMcM. Sadly, the weather was cold, windy and drizzly – but the view from inside over the Thames from the top floor functions suite was superb…
We were all there to
drink champers and eat delicious canapés hear the announcement of the shortlist. First a short speech about Rathbones and why the company loves reading, then another from prize co-founder Andrew Kidd about the Folio Foundation and its Academy and Mentorship programmes, which extend beyond the Prize. Each year four mentorships of young writers graduating from the First Story programme in schools are mentored by authors who are members of the Academy. A young author, Imaru Lewis, who had been mentored by Kamila Shamsie, read from his work, bravely reading it from his phone!
Then it was over to Kate Clanchy (right), chair of this year’s judges to make the announcement. She alongside fellow judges Owen Sheers and Chloe Aridjis, picked the shortlist of eight titles from the 80 original books, which were previously whittled down to a longlist of twenty. The Rathbones Folio prize is always interesting, for the books for consideration are submitted by academy members, not publishers – so it always demonstrates real breadth, which is maybe why they have a shortlist of eight books?
Here is the shortlist (pictured in my snap at the event above):
- Can You Tolerate This? by Ashleigh Young (Bloomsbury)
- The Crossway by Guy Stagg (Picador)
- Mary Ann Sate, Imbecile by Alice Jolly (Unbound)
- Milkman by Anna Burns (Faber)
- Ordinary People by Diana Evans (Chatto and Windus)
- The Perseverance by Raymond Antrobus (Penned in the Margins)
- There There by Tommy Orange (Harvill Secker)
- West by Carys Davies (Granta)
The book I’m particularly excited about is There, There by Tommy Orange, followed by Ordinary People by Diana Evans – but I’ve not read any of the shortlist! Something I hope to remedy very soon. What about you?