Home/Women's Prize 2021

The Women’s Prize for Fiction is the most prestigious annual book award celebrating & honouring fiction written by women. The Booker Prize Shortlist of 1991 included no women at all – something which initially escaped everyone’s notice… A diverse group of journalists, reviewers, agents, publishers, librarians & booksellers – male and female – met to discuss the problem of these perennial male-dominated literary awards and so, in 1995, a new literary prize was born – one which would celebrate women’s creativity, one that would be truly international & one that would have a programme of educational, literacy and research initiatives integral to the Prize. “In the pages of a novel, we can know what it means to stand in another person’s shoes. Now, the Women’s Prize for Fiction matters more than ever.” Kate Mosse. 2021 : Longlist Announced 10th March / Shortlist Announced 28th April / Winner Announced 7th July.

  • 'The Vanishing Half is an utterly mesmerising novel. It seduces with its literary flair, surprises with its breath-taking plot twists, delights with its psychological insights, and challenges us to consider the corrupting consequences of racism on different communities and individual lives. I absolutely loved this book' Bernardine Evaristo, winner of the Booker Prize 2019The Vignes twin sisters will always be identical. But after growing up together in a small, southern black community and running away at age sixteen, it's not just the shape of their daily lives that is different as adults, it's everything: their families, their communities, their racial identities. Ten years later, one sister lives with her black daughter in the same southern town she once tried to escape. The other secretly passes for white, and her white husband knows nothing of her past. Still, even separated by so many miles and just as many lies, the fates of the twins remain intertwined. What will happen to the next generation, when their own daughters' story lines intersect?Weaving together multiple strands and generations of this family, from the Deep South to California, from the 1950s to the 1990s, Brit Bennett produces a story that is at once a riveting, emotional family story and a brilliant exploration of the American history of passing. Looking well beyond issues of race, The Vanishing Half considers the lasting influence of the past as it shapes a person's decisions, desires, and expectations, and explores some of the multiple reasons and realms in which people sometimes feel pulled to live as something other than their origins. ISBN 9780349701455
  • "A taut, sharp, funny book about being young now. Its brutal and brilliant." Zadie Smith. Meet Edie. Edie is not okay. Shes messing up in her dead-end admin job in her all white office, is sleeping with all the wrong men, and has failed at the only thing that meant anything to her, painting. No one seems to care that she doesnt really know what shes doing with her life beyond looking for her next hook-up. And then she meets Eric, a white, middle-aged archivist with a suburban family, including a wife who has sort-of-agreed to an open marriage and an adopted black daughter who doesnt have a single person in her life who can show her how to do her hair. As if navigating the constantly shifting landscape of sexual and racial politics as a young, black woman wasnt already hard enough, with nowhere else left to go, Edie finds herself falling headfirst into Eric's home and family. Razor sharp. provocatively page-turning and surprisingly tender, Luster is a painfully funny coming-of-age story told by a fresh new voice. ISBN 9781529035995
  • Reese nearly had it all: a loving relationship with Amy, an apartment in New York, a job she didn't hate. She'd scraped together a life previous generations of trans women could only dream of; the only thing missing was a child. Then everything fell apart and three years on Reese is still in self-destruct mode, avoiding her loneliness by sleeping with married men. When her ex calls to ask if she wants to be a mother, Reese finds herself intrigued. After being attacked in the street, Amy de-transitioned to become Ames, changed jobs and, thinking he was infertile, started an affair with his boss Katrina. Now Katrina's pregnant. Could the three of them form an unconventional family - and raise the baby together? 'A voraciously knowing, compulsively readable novel' Chris Kraus 'Tremendously funny and sexy as hell' Juliet Jacques 'Emotionally generous, richly textured, and deeply intelligent' Claire Lombardo ISBN 9781788167208
  • The long-awaited return from the author of the multi-million copy bestselling Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell. An instant classic that has been hailed as one of the finest works of fiction of the twenty-first century. Fifteen years later, it is finally time to enter the House and meet Piranesi... May your Paths be safe, your Floors unbroken and may the House fill your eyes with Beauty. "What a world Susanna Clarke conjures into being, what a tick-tock-tick-tock of reveals, what a pure protagonist, what a morally squalid supporting cast, what beauty, tension and restraint, and what a pitch-perfect ending. Piranesi is an exquisite puzzle-box far, far bigger on the inside than it is on the outside" DAVID MITCHELL. 'Piranesi is a gorgeous, spellbinding mystery that gently unravels page by page. Precisely the sort of book that I love wordlessly handing to someone so they can have the pleasure of uncovering its secrets for themselves. This book is a treasure, washed up upon a forgotten shore, waiting to be discovered' ERIN MORGENSTERN ISBN 9781526622426
  • A woman known for her viral social media posts travels the world speaking to her adoring fans, her entire existence overwhelmed by the internet or what she terms the portal . Are we in hell? the people of the portal ask themselves. Are we all just going to keep doing this until we die? Suddenly, two texts from her mother pierce the fray: 'Something has gone wrong,' and 'How soon can you get here?' As real life and its stakes collide with the increasing absurdity of the portal, the woman confronts a world that seems to contain both an abundance of proof that there is goodness, empathy and justice in the universe, and a deluge of evidence to the contrary. Irreverent and sincere, poignant and delightfully profane, No One Is Talking About This is at once a love letter to the infinite scroll and a meditation on love, language and human connection from one of the most original voices of our time. 'I really admire and love this book. Patricia Lockwood is a completely singular talent and this is her best, funniest, weirdest, most affecting work yet' Sally Rooney. 'A furiously original novel, alive and unstable' Jia Tolentino, author of Trick Mirror. ISBN 9781526633835
  • When you leave Ireland aged 22 to spend your parents' money, it's called a gap year. When Ava leaves Ireland aged 22 to make her own money, she's not sure what to call it, but it involves:- a badly-paid job in Hong Kong, teaching English grammar to rich children;- Julian, who likes to spend money on Ava and lets her move into his guest room;- Edith, who Ava meets while Julian is out of town and actually listens to her when she talks;- money, love, cynicism, unspoken feelings and unlikely connections. Exciting times ensue. 'A sharp, smart, witty modern love story. I loved it' David Nicholls, author of ONE DAY 'More than lives up to the hype ... Likely to fill the Sally-Rooney-shaped hole in many readers' lives' IRISH TIMES 'Droll, shrewd and unafraid - a winning debut' Hilary Mantel 'A frankly sensational book' Pandora Sykes ISBN 9781474613460
  • As a child Gifty would ask her parents to tell the story of their journey from Ghana to Alabama, seeking escape in myths of heroism and romance. When her father and brother succumb to the hard reality of immigrant life in the American South, their family of four becomes two - and the life Gifty dreamed of slips away. Years later, desperate to understand the opioid addiction that destroyed her brother's life, she turns to science for answers. But when her mother comes to stay, Gifty soon learns that the roots of their tangled traumas reach farther than she ever thought. Tracing her family's story through continents and generations will take her deep into the dark heart of modern America. 'I would say that Transcendent Kingdom is a novel for our time (and it is) but it is so much more than that. It is a novel for all times. The splendor and heart and insight and brilliance contained in the pages holds up a light the rest of us can follow' Ann Patchett. ISBN 9780241433386
  • In her youth, Tara was wild. She abandoned her loveless marriage to join an ashram, endured a brief stint as a beggar (mostly to spite her affluent parents), and spent years chasing after a dishevelled, homeless 'artist' - all with her young child in tow. Now she is forgetting things, mixing up her maid's wages and leaving the gas on all night, and her grown-up daughter is faced with the task of caring for a woman who never cared for her. This is a love story and a story about betrayal. But not between lovers - between mother and daughter. Sharp as a blade and laced with caustic wit, Burnt Sugar unpicks the slippery cords of memory and myth that bind two women together, and hold them apart. 'Daring and deliciously dark, Burnt Sugar will keep you gripped until the very last sentence' Zeba Talkhani, author of My Past is a Foreign Country. 'Raw, wise and cuttingly funny on love and cruelty, marriage and motherhood, art and illness, and one woman's fight for her sense of self' Rowan Hisayo Buchanan, author of Starling Days. Longlisted for The Booker Prize 2020. ISBN 9780241441510
  • 1957, south-east suburbs of London. Jean Swinney is a feature writer on a local paper, disappointed in love and - on the brink of forty - living a limited existence with her truculent mother. When a young Swiss woman, Gretchen Tilbury, contacts the paper to claim that her daughter is the result of a virgin birth, it is down to Jean to discover whether she is a miracle or a fraud. But the more she investigates, the more her life becomes strangely (and not unpleasantly) intertwined with that of the Tilburys: Gretchen herself, her husband Howard - with his dry wit and gentle disposition - and her charming daughter Margaret. But they are the subject of the story Jean is researching for the newspaper, a story that increasingly seems to be causing dark ripples across all their lives. And yet Jean cannot bring herself to discard the chance of finally having a taste of happiness. But there will be a price to pay - and it will be unbearable. 'This is one of the most tender, beautiful books I have ever read. Please, please order it now. I honestly don't want you to be without it. It is exquisite' Lucy Mangan. 'Will draw you in from the first page and keep you gripped until the very end' Ruth Hogan. ISBN 9781474613897
  • 1957, south-east suburbs of London. Jean Swinney is a feature writer on a local paper, disappointed in love and - on the brink of forty - living a limited existence with her truculent mother. When a young Swiss woman, Gretchen Tilbury, contacts the paper to claim that her daughter is the result of a virgin birth, it is down to Jean to discover whether she is a miracle or a fraud. But the more she investigates, the more her life becomes strangely (and not unpleasantly) intertwined with that of the Tilburys: Gretchen herself, her husband Howard - with his dry wit and gentle disposition - and her charming daughter Margaret. But they are the subject of the story Jean is researching for the newspaper, a story that increasingly seems to be causing dark ripples across all their lives. And yet Jean cannot bring herself to discard the chance of finally having a taste of happiness. But there will be a price to pay - and it will be unbearable. 'This is one of the most tender, beautiful books I have ever read. Please, please order it now. I honestly don't want you to be without it. It is exquisite' Lucy Mangan. 'Will draw you in from the first page and keep you gripped until the very end' Ruth Hogan. Paperback Edition Published 29th April 2021 - Order Now. ISBN 9781474613903
  • The unmissable finale to Ali Smith's dazzling literary tour de force: the Seasonal quartet concludes in 2020 with Summer In the present, Sacha knows the world's in trouble. Her brother Robert just is trouble. Their mother and father are having trouble.Meanwhile the world's in meltdown - and the real meltdown hasn't even started yet. In the past, a lovely summer. A different brother and sister know they're living on borrowed time. This is a story about people on the brink of change. They're family, but they think they're strangers. So: where does family begin? And what do people who think they've got nothing in common have in common? Summer. ISBN 9780241207079
  • After five long years of waiting for a new novel, Dawn's millions of fans will fall in love with this tantalising story of motherhood. This is a book about mothers and daughters, love and loss, mistakes and regret. It's a book about nature and nurture. Ultimately, it's a book about what makes us who we are - it is a story for all of us. Following her wonderful bestsellers A Tiny Bit Marvellous, Oh Dear Silvia and According to Yes, Because Of You is Dawn French's stunning new book, told with her signature humour, warmth and so much love. ISBN 9781405927345
  • Is there such a thing as a perfect marriage? David thought so. But when his wife Mary Rose dies suddenly he has to think again. In reliving their twenty years together David sees that the ground beneath them had shifted and he simply hadn't noticed. Or had chosen not to. Figuring out who Mary Rose really was and the secrets that she kept - some of these hidden in plain sight - makes David wonder if he really knew her. Did he even know himself? Nothing But Blue Sky is a precise and tender story of love in marriage - a gripping examination of what binds couples together and of what keeps them apart. 'What a beautiful novel ... Elegant, understated, subtly powerful, and rings so perfectly true' Donal Ryan 'Gentle and triumphant, MacMahon offers us a novel seeped in beautiful prose and poignant tenderness' Anne Griffin ISBN 9781844884759
  • What if the life you have always known is taken from you in an instant? What would you do to get it back? Twins Jeanie and Julius have always been different from other people. At 51 years old, they still live with their mother, Dot, in rural isolation and poverty. Inside the walls of their old cottage they make music, and in the garden they grow (and sometimes kill) everything they need for sustenance. But when Dot dies suddenly, threats to their livelihood start raining down. Jeanie and Julius would do anything to preserve their small sanctuary against the perils of the outside world, even as their mother's secrets begin to unravel, putting everything they thought they knew about their lives at stake. Unsettled Ground is a heart-stopping novel of betrayal and resilience, love and survival. It is a portrait of life on the fringes of society that explores with dazzling emotional power how we can build our lives on broken foundations, and spin light from darkness. ISBN 9780241457450
  • The unmissable finale to Ali Smith's dazzling literary tour de force: the Seasonal quartet concludes in 2020 with Summer In the present, Sacha knows the world's in trouble. Her brother Robert just is trouble. Their mother and father are having trouble.Meanwhile the world's in meltdown - and the real meltdown hasn't even started yet. In the past, a lovely summer. A different brother and sister know they're living on borrowed time. This is a story about people on the brink of change. They're family, but they think they're strangers. So: where does family begin? And what do people who think they've got nothing in common have in common? Summer. ISBN 9780241207062
  • Is there such a thing as a perfect marriage? David thought so. But when his wife Mary Rose dies suddenly he has to think again. In reliving their twenty years together David sees that the ground beneath them had shifted and he simply hadn't noticed. Or had chosen not to. Figuring out who Mary Rose really was and the secrets that she kept - some of these hidden in plain sight - makes David wonder if he really knew her. Did he even know himself? Nothing But Blue Sky is a precise and tender story of love in marriage - a gripping examination of what binds couples together and of what keeps them apart. ISBN 9780241986653
  • HOW THE ONE-ARMED SISTER SWEEPS HER HOUSE is the powerful, intense story of three marriages, and of a beautiful island paradise where, beyond the white sand beaches and the wealthy tourists, lies poverty, menacing violence and the story of the sacrifices some women make to survive. ISBN 9781472268785
  • When Hannah is invited into the First-Class carriage of the London to Penzance train by Jinni, she walks into a spider's web. Now a poor young single mother, Hannah once escaped Cornwall to go to university. But once she married Jake and had his child, her dreams were crushed into bitter disillusion. Her husband has left her for Eve, rich and childless, and Hannah has been surviving by becoming a cleaner in London. Jinni is equally angry and bitter, and in the course of their journey the two women agree to murder each other's husbands. After all, they are strangers on a train - who could possibly connect them? But when Hannah goes to Jinni's husband's home the next night, she finds Stan, a huge, hairy, ugly drunk who has his own problems - not least the care of a half-ruined house and garden. He claims Jinni is a very different person to the one who has persuaded Hannah to commit a terrible crime. Who is telling the truth - and who is the real victim?... 'Terrific, page-turning, slyly funny' India Knight 'As satisfying a novel as I have read in years' Sarah Perry ISBN 9780349143484
  • Saskia and Jenny are twins, alike in appearance only: Saskia has a single-minded focus on her studies, while Jenny is glamorous, thrill-seeking and capricious. Still, when Jenny is severely injured in an accident, Saskia puts her life on hold for her sister. Sara and Mattie are sisters with another difficult dynamic: Mattie needs almost full-time care, while Sara loves nothing more than fine wines, perfumes and expensive clothing, and leaves home at the first opportunity. But when their mother dies, Sara must move Mattie in with her. Gradually, Sara and Saskia learn that both their sisters' lives, and indeed their own, have been altered by the devastating actions of one man... In turns razor-sharp, provocative and precise, Consent is a blistering novel of sisters and their knotty relationships, of predatory men and sexual power, of retribution and the thrilling possibilities of revenge. ISBN 9781838952457
  • Part journal, part keepsake commemorating twenty-five years of the Women's Prize for Fiction, this beautiful book is intended to inspire you to pick up your pen. It's also a compendium of the history of the Prize, spotlighting each of the phenomenal winners from the past quarter of a century - from Ali Smith and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie to Madeline Miller and Naomi Alderman. The journal features gorgeous colour illustrations as well as an appendix listing all the brilliant women who've judged the Prize and the books they've shortlisted throughout the years. Alongside an introduction by Founder-Director Kate Mosse, there are inspirational quotes and exclusive writing tips from previous winners, and space for notes to help you find your own voice. ISBN 9781800180550
  • Discover the unforgettable finale to Ali Smith's dazzling literary tour-de-force. In the present, Sacha knows the world's in trouble. Her brother Robert just is trouble. Their mother and father are having trouble. Meanwhile the world's in meltdown - and the real meltdown hasn't even started yet. In the past, a lovely summer. A different brother and sister know they're living on borrowed time. This is a story about people on the brink of change. They're family, but they think they're strangers. So: where does family begin? And what do people who think they've got nothing in common have in common? Summer. Paperback Edition published 6th May 2021 - Order Now. ISBN 9780241973370
  • After five long years of waiting for a new novel, Dawn's millions of fans will fall in love with this tantalising story of motherhood. This is a book about mothers and daughters, love and loss, mistakes and regret. It's a book about nature and nurture. Ultimately, it's a book about what makes us who we are - it is a story for all of us. Following her wonderful bestsellers A Tiny Bit Marvellous, Oh Dear Silvia and According to Yes, Because Of You is Dawn French's stunning new book, told with her signature humour, warmth and so much love. Paperback Edition Published 29th April 2021 - Pre-Order Now. ISBN 9781405927338