News: Carmen Maria Machado’s memoir wins The Rathbones Folio Prize 2021

Wednesday, 24 February – Carmen Maria Machado won the £30,000 award for her memoir In the Dream House, published by Serpent ’s Tail/Graywolf Press. 

The winner announcement was made in an online ceremony by poet Roger Robinson. The event was hosted by Razia Iqbal and in part filmed at the British Library, where the ceremony ordinarily takes place.

The judges Roger Robinson, Sinéad Gleeson and Jon McGregor deemed In the Dream House the best book on the 2021 shortlist, which also included: Sara Baume (handiwork), Amina Cain (Indelicacy), Elaine Feeney (As You Were), Caleb Femi (Poor), Rachel Long (My Darling from the Lions), Doireann Ní Ghríofa (A Ghost in the Throat), and Monique Roffey (The Mermaid of Black Conch)

The Rathbones Folio Prize is also known as the Writers’ Prize, as the longlist is selected by an international academy of distinguished writers and critics, the Folio Academy. The prize includes work from anywhere in the world, of any genre. This year’s shortlist contained novels, auto-fiction, poetry, and poetry with photography.

In an interview with the Rathbones Folio Prize, Machado said: “I hope this book gives readers language and context for either experiences they have had, or experiences people they know or love have had, adding a level of nuance to conversations around things like domestic violence, queerness, and sexual violence.” 

In winning, Machado joins Valeria Luiselli (2020), Raymond Antrobus (2019), Richard Lloyd Parry (2018), Hisham Matar (2017), Akhil Sharma (2015) and George Saunders (2014) as previous winners of the prize.

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