Now in its 23rd year, the Women’s Prize for Fiction has been setting our reading lists for over two decades, with previous winners including Zadie Smith, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and Ali Smith. This year’s long list has just been released, which means our ‘to-read’ section on Good Reads just got full.
This year’s long list features both new and well-established writers and a range of genres, with six debut novels also making the cut. Highlights include Gail Honeyman’s brilliantly-moving and funny first book, Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine, about a lonely young woman whose rigid routine is disrupted by a kind stranger; Jamila Shamsie’s Home Fire, her seventh novel reworking Sophocles’ Antigone, and Jesmyn Ward’s Sing, Unburied, Sing, about a Mississippi family plagued by drugs and run ins with the law.
‘The longlist came out of a Chequers style meeting where different views were accommodated and peace reigned, at least for now,’ commented Sarah Sands, Chair of Judges. ‘What is striking about the list, apart from the wealth of talent, is that women writers refuse to be pigeon-holed. We have searing social realism, adventure, comedy, poetic truths, ingenious plots and unforgettable characters. Women of the world are a literary force to be reckoned with.’
The 2018 Women’s Prize for Fiction will be awarded on 6 June and will be judged by a panel of five, Sarah Sands, Anita Anand, Katy Brand, Catherine Meyer and Imogen Stubbs. The winner receives a £30,000 prize fund as well as a limited-edition trophy dubbed the ‘Bessie’.