The Consequences of “Prize Culture”

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Over at the Guardian, Rachel Cooke reflects on her experience as a judge for this year’s Folio prize and shares what reading the eighty submissions revealed to her about the state of British and American fiction:

The British social history novel seems doomed so far as our prize culture goes; impossible to imagine a writer such as David Lodge enjoying the same career today. Character is also on the wane; 21st-century writers prefer to build their stories around themes… My hunch is that, in the future, well-supported American writers are, for a variety of different and complex reasons, going to do very well out of the Folio and the Booker combined, and that this will have consequences for writing and publishing in this country. It may also, in the end, affect the way that we, as British readers, talk to and think about ourselves. It’s vital to look out into the world, but we need sometimes to look within, too.


Jake Slovis earned his MFA in Writing from Rutgers University, where he now teaches English Composition. He is a second-generation Argentine American and has spent significant time living and writing in Buenos Aires. He currently resides in Brooklyn. More from this author →