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Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Rathbones Folio prize: Carmen Maria Machado wins for her radical memoir about same-sex abuse

The Rathbones Folio Prize is a literary award that was backed by London-based publisher The Folio Society in the initial two years. In 2017, Rathbone Investment Management joined as the sponsor and the name changed from Folio Prize to what it is known as today

By: Lifestyle Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: March 25, 2021 2:20:12 pm
The 34-year-old American author and essayist is clearly gratified. (Source: Amazon.com | Designed by Gargi Singh)

American author Carmen Maria Machado has won the Rathbones Folio prize for her memoir, In the Dream House. In the 2019 book, the author outlines her experiences in a same-sex relationship with her former partner, and the abuse she was subjected to. It is at once an inventive and radical work, a true testimony to her narrative gift.

Poet Roger Robinson, who was also the judge, was quoted as praising the book for the embedded tension in the narrative, making it read like a “horror ride”. “Machado documents, in great detail, the descent of lives into obsessiveness, possession and, eventually, abuse among the queer community. This is not often documented in literature. This already makes this book substantial. But it is its challenging of memoir form that is even more impressive,” he said, according to The Guardian.

The 34-year-old author and essayist is clearly gratified. “This book was nominated for, and has won, a few prizes, and they’ve all been gay prizes, or prizes with a queer lens, and I felt a little weird about that – about why the book was only being thought of as a gay book. So I feel excited that this is a large mainstream prize. Obviously I’m really honoured to have received awards from the queer community, but I feel like this is a story that applies to a lot of people. These stories [of queer domestic abuse] belong in the general discourse, in the zeitgeist, in the way that other stories are, and that was a part of the project of the book, so this feels, in a way, like an embodiment of that hope, which is a pretty good feeling,” she was quoted as saying.

The Rathbones Folio Prize is a literary award that was backed by London-based publisher The Folio Society in the initial two years. In 2017, Rathbone Investment Management joined as the sponsor and the name changed from Folio Prize to what it is known as today.

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