LONDON (AP) — Irish writer Colm Toibin’s “The Magician” won Britain’s Rathbones Folio Prize for Literature on Tuesday.
Toibin’s fictional account of the life of German writer Thomas Mann beat out seven other finalists for the 30,000 pound ($40,000) multi-genre prize, including the Booker Prize-winning novel by South African writer Damon Galgut’s “The Promise”, Selima Hill’s poetry collection “Men Who Feed Pigeons” and Philip Hoare’s art history book “Albert and the Whale”.
Toibin, whose novels include ‘Brooklyn’ and ‘The Master’, was previously a Folio Prize finalist in 2015 for ‘Nora Webster’ and was shortlisted for the Booker Prize three times.
The jury of three other writers – Tessa Hadley, William Atkins and Rachel Long – said they surprised themselves by reaching a unanimous decision. They said that Toibin’s book “is such a voluminous, generous and ambitious novel, encompassing so much of 20th-century history, but rooted in the intimate details of one man’s private life”.
Founded in 2013 to compete for the prestigious Booker Prize, the Folio is open to fiction, non-fiction and poetry from around the world published in Britain. This year’s finalists came from the UK, Ireland and South Africa.