Eimear McBride has done it again! She is one of eight on the Folio Book Prize short list, the winner to be announced on 10 March.
The Folio Book Prize was set up - according to today's Guardian* - to 'reward literature and artistic achievement as opposed to "readable" books ... and to allow all English-language fiction to compete regardless of nationality or gender'. Thus, the short list is made up of five American authors, one Canadian, one English and our Eimear! Like the Goldsmiths Prize, which McBride won, the Folio Prize is really a challenge to Man Booker which tends to be awarded to narrative driven novels which 'zip along' [according to the 2011 judges!].
The competition is stiff for McBride and her novel is not helped by comments in the Guardian describing it variously as 'daunting', 'hard to read' and 'experimental'. Experimental it certainly is but so was Beckett but hard to read it is not. It is a work of genius.
The other seven novels are: Red Doc (Anne Carson), Tenth of December (George Saunders), Benediction (Kent Haruf), The Flame Throwers (Rachel Kushner), Schroder (Amity Gaige), Last Friends (Jane Gardam) and A Naked Singularity (Sergio de la Pava).