LONDON (BBC): American writer George Saunders has won the inaugural Folio Prize for his “darkly playful” short story collection, Tenth of December. The new prize, open to English-language writers from around the world, pre-empts the Man Booker Prize, which this year expands to a global level. Saunders picked up his £40,000 cheque at a ceremony in central London on Monday night.  The eight-strong shortlist had been dominated by American authors.

“George Saunders’ stories are both artful and profound,” said chair of the judges, Lavinia Greenlaw.