On February 9, 2015, at an event hosted by the British Library, the second year of the Folio Prize 2015 was the focus of much excitement, with The Folio Prize Academy declaring its shortlist for the Folio Prize. This year, the list of eight books—all of which are penned by authors across the globe, in English, and published by UK publishing houses during the last twelve months—has caused a flurry of discussion, predominantly owing to the range of themes and topics offered by this little bubble of literature, touching upon subjects such as art, belonging, family and marriage, loss, solitude, time and war.
In addition, it is difficult to fail to notice the publishers behind these books. Without intending to do so, the Folio Prize has also acknowledged the importance and value of independent publishers in the publishing world, with six out of eight of the shortlisted books brought into publication by such an entity. It is during these times that the place of independent publishers is truly recognised, without questions surrounding their position in the world of books.
In the spirit of this exciting contest, alongside its recognition of independent publishing houses (and in mind of the continuous, ever-pressing need to find excuses to purchase new books!), the Notebook Publishing team have set themselves the task of reading and reviewing each of the books on the list with the aim of establishing Notebook’s own candidate for the win.
The list is as follows:
- 10:04 by Ben Lerner
- All My Puny Sorrows by Miriam Toews
- Dept. of Speculation by Jenny Offill
- Dust by Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor
- Family Life by Akhil Sharma
- How to be Both by Ali Smith
- Nora Webster by Colm Toibin
- Outline by Rachel Cusk.
The conclusion of the Folio Prize 2015 will be marked with the announcement of the winner, on March 23, 2015, who will be awarded with a prize fund of £40,000. We wish all of the Folio Prize 2015’s authors the very best of luck, and wait with eager anticipation for the declaration of the victor!