American authors Amina Cain and Carmen Maria Machado are among the eight finalists for the Rathbones Folio Prize, given each year to an English-language work of fiction, nonfiction, or poetry.
Monique Roffey’s novel The Mermaid of Black Conch, which recently won the Costa Book of the Year award, made the shortlist, as did Caleb Femi’s poetry and photography collection Poor.
The other finalists are Sarah Baume’s memoir handiwork, Elaine Feeney’s novel As You Were, Rachel Long’s poetry collection My Darling From the Lions, and Doireann Ní Ghríofa’s cross-genre book A Ghost in the Throat.
Roger Robinson, one of this year’s judges, said the eight books were chosen “because they are pushing at the edges of their forms in interesting ways, without sacrificing narrative or execution.”
The Folio Prize was first established in 2014, with George Saunders as the inaugural winner for his short story collection Tenth of December. Other past winners have included Akhil Sharma’s novel Family Life, Hisham Matar’s memoir The Return, and Raymond Antrobus’ poetry collection The Perseverance.
The winner of this year’s award will be announced at a virtual ceremony on March 24.
Michael Schaub is a Texas-based journalist and regular contributor to NPR.