Folio Prize comment: Dr David Brauner says the Folio Prize is a 'wake-up call' for English authors
Release Date 11 March 2014
Dr David Brauner is author of Contemporary American Fiction (Edinburgh University Press, 2010) and Philip Roth (Manchester University Press, 2007), co-editor of the peer-reviewed journal Philip Roth Studies and an expert in the field of contemporary fiction who has published widely on the post-war novel in the UK and the US.
"I'm delighted the Tenth of December by George Saunders has won as it was my favourite on the short-list. It's a wonderful collection of stories from one of the greatest contemporary practitioners of the form. Saunders has been a writer's writer for some time now but this win should help him reach the wider audience his quirky, compelling fiction deserves.
"Saunders' win, and indeed the Folio Prize itself, should be a wake-up call for English authors. There is a large gulf in ambition that exists between most contemporary American and British fiction, a gulf that was highlighted in the short-list for the Prize, which included five American writers and just one English. The lack of English authors on the list was even more striking when you consider this has not been a vintage year for American fiction.
"English novelists need to take greater risks in their fiction. If they don't, they will only have themselves to blame if the major prizes continue to elude them."