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V. V. Ganeshananthan Wins Women’s Prize For Fiction

American author V. V. Ganeshananthan has been announced as the winner of this year’s Women’s Prize for Fiction for her deeply moving, powerful second novel, Brotherless Night, which depicts a family fractured by the Sri Lankan civil war.

The winner was announced at a ceremony in Bedford Square Gardens, central London, hosted by novelist, playwright and Women’s Prizes Founder Director Kate Mosse CBE. As the winner of the 2024 Women’s Prize for Fiction, sponsored by Audible and Baileys, V. V. Ganeshananthan will receive a prize fund of £30,000, anonymously endowed, along with a limited-edition bronze statuette known as the ‘Bessie’, created and donated by the artist Grizel Niven.

The winner of the inaugural Women’s Prize for Non-Fiction was also announced at the ceremony. Find out more here.

About the Book

V. V. Ganeshananthan’s winning title took almost two decades to complete; her debut novel Love Marriage was longlisted for the Women’s Prize in 2009. This beautifully written story follows Sashi, a sixteen-year-old aspiring doctor, growing up in Jaffna in the 1980s. Her close family is torn apart by the onset of civil war, with two of her four brothers and childhood friend K ultimately joining the militant Tamil Tigers. Conflicted by what she can do to help, Sashi works as a medic in a field hospital for the Tigers and befriends a feminist, dissident Tamil professor who invites her to document human rights violations as a means of civil resistance. Brotherless Night vividly and compassionately centres erased and marginalised stories – Tamil women, students, teachers, ordinary civilians – exploring the moral nuances of violence and terrorism against a backdrop of oppression and exile.

Chair of Judges Monica Ali says:

Brotherless Night is a brilliant, compelling and deeply moving novel that bears witness to the intimate and epic-scale tragedies of the Sri Lankan civil war. In rich, evocative prose, Ganeshananthan creates a vivid sense of time and place and an indelible cast of characters. Her commitment to complexity and clear-eyed moral scrutiny combines with spellbinding storytelling to render Brotherless Night a masterpiece of historical fiction.

Find out what the six reading groups who were selected to read the shortlist thought of this year’s titles including Brotherless Night in our review article.

Get involved

Are you interested in reading the winning title or any of the shortlisted titles? Find out more about the shortlist here.

If you work in a library or workplace and would like to promote the shortlist, you can download a free digital pack from our shop.

What do you think of the 2024 winning title? Have you read it or will it be added to your TBR pile? Add your comments below, or click on the title above to leave a review.

Share your thoughts with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using #WomensPrize.

Keep up with all the latest news on the Women’s Prize website.

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