It must only be coincidence, but to counter the disappointment about The Women’s Prize Longlist comes welcome news that British Literary publisher The Folio Society is the key sponsor of the Literature Prize, announced last year amid the disappointment over the Booker Prize and its flirtations with ‘accessibility’.
The prize, to be renamed The Folio Prize, is going to be for excellence. It is, in my opinion, a long overdue adjunct to the Nobel Prize.
(What follows is adapted from the Press Release):
88 members of the Folio Prize Academy have now been confirmed, and they include the following Australian/New Zealand-based authors, including:
Peter Carey (double Booker Prize winner, Australia)
James Bradley (Miles Franklin Award shortlisted, Australia)
Carmen Callil (author and critic, Australia)
J.M Coetzee (double Booker Prize winner and Nobel Prize Laureate, South Africa / resides in Australia)
Emily Perkins (Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize winner; New Zealand)
Anna Funder (Samuel Johnson Prize winner; Miles Franklin Award winner; Australia)
Chloe Hooper (Orange Prize shortlisted; Australia)
Nam Le (Dylan Thomas Prize winner; PEN/Malamud Award winner; Vietnam / resides in Australia)
Elliot Perlman (Miles Franklin Award shortlisted; Australia)
Carrie Tiffany (Orange Prize & Guardian First Book Award & Miles Franklin Award shortlisted; Australia)
This Academy will apparently play a key role in the process by which books are selected and considered for The Folio Prize each year. The five judges will also be drawn annually from their ranks. The Press Release says that their expertise and experience reflects the aim of encouraging a consistent focus on excellence.
THE FOLIO PRIZE, worth £40,000, will recognise and celebrate the best English-language fiction from around the world, published in the United Kingdom in any given year regardless of form, genre or the author’s country of origin. It will be awarded for the first time in March 2014. The inaugural panel of judges will be announced in July this year and the shortlist in February 2014. Academicians (excluding judges) will be asked to nominate up to three books each year, and publishers will be invited to submit applications for any additional novels they feel merit consideration. The judges will read a total of 80 books, from which a shortlist of eight titles will be announced in February 2014, with the winner announcement taking place in March.
Speaking on behalf of The Folio Society, Managing Director Toby Hartwell said, “The Folio Society has long been passionate about the publishing of classic literature in the most beautiful and desirable editions. With our sponsorship of The Folio Prize we seek to continue this tradition of excellence through recognising new writing of enduring quality; books that will be read and treasured in a hundred years.”
The Folio Society will publish an illustrated special edition hardback of the winning title in due course, each year.
More information on THE FOLIO PRIZE can now be found at the new Prize website www.thefolioprize.com
About The Folio Society
For over 60 years The Folio Society has been publishing beautiful, illustrated editions of the world’s greatest books. We believe that the literary content of a book should be matched by its physical form. With specially commissioned illustrations, many of our editions are further enhanced with introductions written by leading figures in their fields: novelists, journalists, academics, scientists and artists.
There are hundreds of Folio Society editions currently in print covering fiction, biography, history, science, philosophy, children’s literature, humour, myths and legends and more. Exceptional in content and craftsmanship and maintaining the very highest standards of fine book production, Folio Society editions are created to last for generations.