The Folio Prize

As a member of the Academy for the Folio Prize – a new prize that honours books written in English, but from anywhere in the world – I was asked recently to say which book I think should have won this prize, had it existed when the book first came out.

An almost impossible task, and maybe I was supposed to choose an otherwise little-known work. But I chose Brief Interviews With Hideous Men by David Foster Wallace, on the grounds that it is simply genius. And didn’t win any prizes.

I was thinking about books that have pushed out a boundary in literature, because this is the feat worth celebrating – when you read a book and think, I did not know it was possible to do that with words. With this in mind I boiled my choice down to either Mrs Dalloway or Brief Interviews, neither of which have exactly escaped attention, but both of which have done something genuinely new. Read more . . .

© Copyright Samantha Harvey