Claudia Rankine, Caleb Femi and James Rebanks on Rathbones Folio Prize 2021 longlist

Six Penguin Random House books are in the running to win the prestigious prize, which will be announced in March. 

Books longlisted for the Rathbones Folio Prize 2021.
Image: Ryan MacEachern/Penguin

Penguin Random House authors including Claudia Rankine, Caleb Femi and James Rebanks have made the longlist for The Rathbones Folio Prize 2021 longlist.

The prize awards a work of literature for adults, from any genre, written in English in the previous year and in which “the subjects being explored achieve their most perfect and thrilling expression”.

The judging panel is made up of members of The Folio Academy, and this year’s books were selected by T.S. Eliot Prize-winning poet Roger Robinson, Irish writer, editor and broadcaster Sinéad Gleeson, and novelist and short story writer Jon McGregor.

Among the longlist of 20 books are six from Penguin Random House, including Claudia Rankine’s Just Us, the final book in her American Lyric trilogy. In the book, Rankine explores a series of real encounters with friends and strangers to take a look at how we can have conversations in this time of division. 

Caleb Femi’s Poor, in which the writer combines poetry and photography to tell the story of boys growing up in Peckham and Elaine Feeney’s As You Were, about a mother-of-three admitted to hospital after collapsing, are also on the longlist.

Also on the list are OK, Let’s Do Your Stupid Idea by Patrick Freyne, a memoir about ordinary life and stupid ideas; James Rebanks’ English Pastoral, the story of how rural landscapes have changed in three generations; and Merlin Sheldrake’s Entangled Life, about how fungi are key to understanding the planet we live on.

The Rathbones Folio Prize 2021 shortlist will be announced on 10 February, and the winner on 24 March. 

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