Rathbones Folio Prize 2023 shortlist announced.

Rathbones Folio Prize 2023 shortlist announced.

The shortlist for the Rathbones Folio Prize 2023 was announced on Tuesday, January 31, 2023. Here are the writers of African descent who made the cut. 

The Rathbones Folio Prize, worth £30,000, is a literary award currently sponsored by Rathbones Investment Management that first ran in 2014–2015. Previous winners have been George Saunders, Akhil Sharma, Hisham Matar, Richard Lloyd Parry, Raymond Antrobus, and Valeria Luiselli.

The jury for 2023 comprises author, playwright, academic and journalist Ali Smith (chair), poet, playwright, and novelist Jackie Kay and journalist, filmmaker and novelist Guy Gunaratne. 

The shortlist has been announced with Chair Ali Smith saying: ‘It’s been a real pleasure, the process of choosing the cross genre shortlists with Jackie and Guy for the Rathbones Folio Prize this year. It’s a prize unlike any other in that the books in the running are specifically chosen from a long list nominated solely by writers. So we started with a list of great books, we’ve delighted in our reading and our meetings with each other over the past months, and we’re hoping our shortlists will excite other readers and writers as much as they’ve excited us.’

The following writers of African descent have made the cut;


  • NoViolet Bulawayo, Glory (Chatto & Windus)


  • Margo Jefferson, Constructing a Nervous System (Granta)


  • Victoria Adukwei Bulley, Quiet (Faber)
  • Safiya Kamaria Kinshasa, Cane, Corn & Gulley (Out-Spoken Press)
  • Yomi Sode, Manorism (Penguin Poetry)

NoViolet Bulawayo said, “I’m deeply honored to see GLORY finalisted for the 2023 Rathbones Folio Prize; to be recognized by other writers is especially a tremendous compliment. thank you, and congratulations to all the shortlisted authors.

Yomi Sode tweeted after the event, “Manorism, is shortlisted for the @RathbonesFolio prize 2023. I arrived home last night after the announcement, had dinner, got ready for bed, saying it again. Manorism, is shortlisted. An honour. Much love to the company of authors in the shortlist. Thankful ✨”

Safiya Kamaria Kinshasa tweeted, “I’ve been shortlisted for a Rathbones Folio Prize for my debut collection ‘Cane, Corn & Gully’! I can’t stop crying! When I was 4, my gran gran taught me a dance with a cou cou stick in her hand, she twirled her wrist & I wanted that moment to last forever. It does now. 🥹”

Each category winner, selected from a shortlist of four, will receive a £2,000 prize and one book will then be crowned overall Rathbones Folio Prize winner, with the author receiving an additional £30,000, The Winners will be announced on Monday, March 27 at the British Library. 


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