Anna Burns, Tommy Orange among finalists for £30,000 Rathbones Folio Prize

The annual prize awards the best work for literture of the year, in any form.
The Rathbones Folio Prize awards the best work for literature of the year, in any form. (Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP/Getty Images,

Northern Ireland's Anna Burns and Indigenous writer Tommy Orange are among the eight finalists for the 2019 Rathbones Folio Prize.

The annual £30,000 (approx. $52,336.47 Cdn) prize awards the best work for literature of the year, in any form.

Burns is nominated for the novel Milkman. Milkman follows a young woman known only as "middle sister." She becomes the target of malicious gossip in her small town when a local paramilitary begins pursuing her, despite her attempts to keep him at bay. The novel won the 2018 Man Booker Prize.

Orange is a finalist for his debut novel, There, There. The novel follows several characters as they all head to Oakland's first Powwow with a range of intentions in mind.

Three other novels are on this year's shortlist: Ordinary People by British writer Diana Evans, Mary Ann Sate, Imbecile by American Alice Jolly and West by Australian Carys Davies.

Two works of nonfiction are also on the shortlist. British writer Guy Stagg is being recognized for his memoir The Crossway and New Zealand's Ashleigh Young is shortlisted for the essay collection Can You Tolerate This?

Rounding out the eight-title list is the poetry collection The Perseverance, the first full collection from British-Jamacian poet Raymond Antrobus.

The winner will be announced on May 20.

The 2019 prize is being judged by Kate Clanchy, Chloe Aridjis and Owen Sheers.

No Canadians have won the prize since its inception in 2014, though several have been nominated — including Anne Carson in 2014, Rachel Cusk and Miriam Toews in 2015 and Madeleine Thien in 2017.

Past winners include George Saunders for the short story collection Tenth of DecemberAkhil Sharma for the novel Family Life and Richard Lloyd Parry for the nonfiction work Ghosts Of The Tsunami.


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversationCreate account

Already have an account?