Damon Galgut, just revealed as our February 2022 cover star, has been announced as a finalist for the Rathbones Folio Prize. The South African author took one of the eight spots jostling for the £30,000 award, after winning the Booker Prize last year for the same book, The Promise.
The Rathbones Folio Prize was founded as an alternative to the Booker Prize, after comments by the 2011 Booker judges suggested they would sacrifice quality for books that “zip along.” It is open to all works written in English and published in the UK. Previous winners include George Saunders and Akhil Sharma.
Published in March 2021 by Chatto & Windus, Galgut’s The Promise received great acclaim. The New York Times praised its “cinematic present tense and kaleidoscopic point of view.” The Guardian wrote, “His third-person narration darts between characters, mid-paragraph or even mid-sentence, swooping over the action to itemize someone’s secret fears, or how many times (and what) a household’s toilets flush over a two-hour period.” The paper predicted his eventual Booker prize win.
The eight Folio Prize finalists were chosen from a longlist of 20 titles which were simultaneously announced. They include Natasha Brown’s Assembly, Selima Hill’s Men Who Feed Pigeons, Philip Hoare’s Albert and the Whale, Claire Keegan’s Small Things Like These, Gwendoline Riley’s My Phantoms, Sunjeev Sahota’s China Room, and The Magician by Colm Tóibín.
The 2022 Rathbones Folio winner will be announced on March 23, in a live ceremony at the British Library, London.