By MICHAEL CAINES
The Goldsmiths Prize is, many people seem to agree, a very good thing. It seems to put the whole dubious mechanism of modern literary prize culture to critically serious use; it has brought about what Ali Smith has called the "miracle" of encouraging publishers to take risks on relatively experimental works of fiction.
Feel free to reply: "Well, she would say that, wouldn't she?" For Ali Smith won last year's prize, with How To Be Both; before her, there was Eimear McBride, who won the inaugural prize in 2013, for A Girl Is a Half-Formed Thing. Both women seemed to be favourites to win. This year, however, all that can be said with certainty is that the Goldsmiths winner will be male. . . .