Irish novelist Colm Tóibín wins Rathbones Folio prize for The Magician

Fictionalised biography of writer Thomas Mann beats Booker prize-winner Damon Galgut to £30,000 award

Colm Tóibín interview: ‘Boris Johnson would be a blood clot … Angela Merkel the cancer’

Irish novelist Colm Tóibín has won the £30,000 Rathbones Folio prize for The Magician, a fictionalised biography of the writer Thomas Mann. It follows the life of the German Nobel winner, whose works include Death in Venice and The Magic Mountain, against the backdrop of Europe’s turmoil in the first half of the 20th century.

Like his 2004 novel about Henry James, The Master, this book uses fiction to imagine the mind of a writer from the past. Guardian reviewer Lucy Hughes-Hallett called it “an enormously ambitious book, one in which the intimate and the momentous are exquisitely balanced”.

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