The Power wins the 2017 Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction

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Naomi Alderman has won the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction 2017 for her “brilliantly imagined dystopia” The Power.

To celebrate and promote the Prize, we have been working with our fantastic Library Ambassadors and ‘shadow’ reading groups. Here are some of the reviews and comments our readers have had about the winning book.

Reading Between the Wines

“It is a fascinating, compelling and unsettling read; in many parts uncomfortable but Naomi includes touches of humour and lines that will make you smile knowingly. The letters that frame the novel are particularly clever and funny and will get you thinking about what you have read and force you to make comparisons with today’s society.”


“What a book! Dealing with themes such as gender, sexism, oppression, equality and religion it really does make a fascinating read. The story is action-packed and has such a range that I think this would appeal to practically everyone. Told from the view point of four different girls and two different men the power shift in a world very similar to ours changes everything…but neither sex is shown to be completely innocent. When women discover that they can overcome the patriarchy, while initially this is for freedom, eventually it becomes for tyranny. For what does absolute power do? It corrupts absolutely.”


“This is an amazing book. Clever, innovative, funny, shocking and thought provoking. 15-year-old girls suddenly acquire the power to generate and use electricity. They can then pass this power on to other women, thus tilting the balance of power between men and women. Across the world this creates a huge gender change. This story is a story within a story, and the novel is interspersed with hilarious illustrations. At first you feel hurrah, now there will be true equality but then things all begin to go very wrong. Who can forget women rioting in Saudi Arabia or taking control in Pakistan, and the voice of god, that of Mother Eve? I loved it. My favourite of them all.”


“Wow – such a brilliantly clever and engaging novel. At times polemical, comical, and fantastical, it is also just a great page-turner. I found something to love in all of the shortlisted books, but The Power was the one to stick with me. it seems to be looking forwards while other books look back. It is a cautionary tale that reminds us that a change can be good, but that no society is fixed with one big change, everyone must contribute and ensure that those with power remember what it’s really for.”

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Get involved

Find out more about the winning book and author.

Discover the full 2017 shortlist.

Meet the 12 ‘shadow’ reading groups and Library Ambassadors.

Join in the conversation on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram using #BaileysPrize.


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Arthur C Clarke Centenary

The Arthur C. Clarke Award is the most prestigious award for science fiction in Britain. The annual award is given for the best science fiction novel first published in the United Kingdom during the previous year. The award was established with a generous grant given by Sir Arthur C. Clarke and the first prize was awarded in 1987 to Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale. The winner receives a prize consisting of a number of pounds sterling equal to the current year (£2017 for year 2017).

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