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George Saunders wins $84,000 Folio literary prize, thanks monkeys which caused him to start writing

Published on Mar 11, 2014 1:13 PM
Book cover of Tenth Of December by George Saunders. -- PHOTO: BLOOMSBURY 

LONDON (Reuters) - American author George Saunders, whose short stories specialise in "darkly playful" twists of fate, said after winning the inaugural Folio literary prize worth £40,000 (S$84,000) on Monday he hoped it would draw attention to the role of the writer in society.

The 55-year-old also saw the award as a further boost for the short story form, another of whose practitioners, Canadian writer Alice Munro, won the Nobel Prize for Literature last year.

"It seems like a nice moment for it but I've been doing stories since the 1970s. It's sort of like in the women's magazines when they say red is back. You think, 'Well, when was it gone?' But it does seem like a good time for short stories."

Saunders, who started out as a geophysicist and worked in the oil fields of Sumatra before turning to writing, was selected from a shortlist of eight authors for the new prize sponsored by the Folio Society publisher of deluxe books.

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