March 2014 | Nate Pedersen

George Saunders Wins First Annual Folio Prize

Tenth of December Jacket Image.jpg
George Saunders has won the inaugural Folio Prize for his collection of short stories entitled Tenth of December. The Folio Prize, sponsored by The Folio Society, is open to writers in English from around the world. Its stated mission is to "celebrate the best fiction of our time, regardless of form or genre, and bring it to the attention of as many readers as possible."

Saunders - no stranger to awards - has received wide acclaim for Tenth of December, his most recent collection of short stories, that "illuminates human experience and explores figures lost in a labyrinth of troubling preoccupations." Saunders even made The New York Times Best Sellers List with Tenth of December, an astonishing achievement for a literary collection of short stories. Lavinia Greenlaw, chair of the judges for the award, said of Saunders, "Unflinching, delightful, adventurous, compassionate, he is a true original whose work is absolutely of the moment."

Andrew Kidd, founder of The Folio Prize, said of the choice, "...they have recognized one of the great writers of our age, and one of the undisputed masters of his form."

Toby Hartwell, Managing Director of The Folio Society, awarded the winner's trophy to Saunders along with its accompanying £40,000 purse.

In addition to Tenth of December, the shortlist for this year's Folio Prize included:

  • Red Doc> by Anne Carson (Random House/Jonathan Cape) 
  • Schroder by Amity Gaige (Faber & Faber) 
  • Last Friends by Jane Gardam (Little, Brown) 
  • Benediction by Kent Haruf (Picador) 
  • The Flame Throwers by Rachel Kushner (Random House/Harvill Secker) 
  • A Girl Is A Half-Formed Thing by Eimear McBride (Galley Beggar Press) 
  • A Naked Singularity by Sergio De La Pava (Maclehose Editions)