The Folio Prize: From The Jaws of Victory...

on Tuesday, March 11, 2014
Well, I should have seen this coming...

After months of overblown hoopla, they've finally announced the inaugural winner of the Folio Prize. You know, the one that was supposed to knock the Booker off its perch... It all got off to a promising start - a shortlist that, while not exactly groundbreaking, was sufficiently interesting to hint at something special. Breaths were baited. Then held. And then they go give it to the most overrated book of the past 18 months. Yes, the 2014 Folio Prize was awarded this morning to none other than George Saunders for Tenth of December. Cue mass exhalation. I'm not saying it's a bad book by any stretch of the imagination. It has a couple of amazing stories. And, while on the topic, it chalks up another major literary win for the short story; ain't no doubt they can play with the big boys now. But a more worthy recipient that Rachel Kushner, Sergio De La Pava, Anne Carson or Kent Haruf? Methinks not.

If there's a form of high culture hipsterism, this has got to be it. Yes, from the jaws of victory the Folio committee has snatched defeat. Which leaves Team Booker with one year's grace to get it right. Mark the 14th of October in your diaries right now. Potentially a far more important date than the Tenth of December.


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