Irish author Colm Tóibín wins the Rathbones Folio Prize for his ‘ambitious novel’ The Magician


Irish author Colm Tóibín has been announced as the winner of the 2022 Rathbones Folio Prize for his novel The Magician.

The best-selling author has won 30,000 euros for his book, which the jury described as a “generous, generous, ambitious novel”.

It competed against eight other literary works, including novels, poetry and non-fiction in Ireland, Great Britain and South Africa.

The Wizard tells the life of the author, essayist, philanthropist and social critic Thomas Mann, who is considered one of the most celebrated and contradictory figures in continental European literature.

Mr. Tóibín had already been shortlisted for the coveted award in 2015 for his novel Nora Webster.

Judges Tessa Hadley, William Atkins and Rachel Long said after hours of deliberation that they had made the decision The Wizard was her winner.

“In selecting a winner from the eight titles nominated for the Rathbones Folio Prize, we were drawn in so many different directions by these extraordinary books that we’ve lived and loved and read and reread with,” they said.

“We sat around a table for several hours, picking out lines and passages, absorbing the very different worlds of each book and passionately arguing for each one. And then gradually, and surprisingly for all of us, it became clear we had all come to the same decision.

“Colm Toibíns The Wizard is such a comprehensive, lavish, ambitious novel that spans a wide arc of 20th-century history, yet is rooted in the intimate details of one man’s private life.

The Irish author was writing four chapters of his book when he was diagnosed with cancer.

After six months of chemotherapy, he was concerned that the cancer would return, knowing it would mean the book would not finish, but thankfully it didn’t come back.

“I knew that if the cancer came back, the odds of writing the book would be zero,” he told the Rathbones Folio Prize in an interview.

“When I was able to work properly again, I worked very hard and very fast. Then I could take care of my health. Anyway, I finished it.”

Mr. Tóibín was shortlisted for the Booker Prize three times and won the Costa Novel Award for Brooklynthe Impact Award, the David Cohen Prize for Literature in 2021 and in 2011 he was awarded the Irish PEN Award for Contributions to Irish Literature.

He is the author of 10 novels including The Master, Brooklyn, The Testament of Mary and Nora Webster.

For the Rathbones Folio Prize he appeared alongside Natasha Brown (Assembly), Damon Galgut (The promise), Selima Hill (Men feeding pigeons), Philip Hoare

(Albert and the whale), Claire Keegan (little things like this), Gwendoline Riley (my phantoms) and Sunjeev Sahota (China room).

Paul Stockton, CEO of Rathbones, said: “Rathbones is proud to sponsor an award that consistently brings us the very best in literature and storytelling being written today.

“We send our congratulations to Colm Tóibín, whose novel The Magician is an excellent testament to the quality of writing talent around the world, which is also reflected in the impressive shortlist.

“We are delighted that the Rathbones Folio Prize has played such an important role in nurturing and supporting such remarkable talent, and look forward to continuing to support the prize’s commitment to enriching people’s lives through literature.” Irish author Colm Tóibín wins the Rathbones Folio Prize for his ‘ambitious novel’ The Magician

Fry Electronics Team

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