The Women’s Prize for Fiction — one of the biggest annual, international celebrations of women’s creativity has announced the 2021 longlist. Now in its 26th year, the Prize shines a spotlight on outstanding, ambitious, original fiction written in English by women from anywhere in the world.
- Because of You by Dawn French
- Burnt Sugar by Avni Doshi
- Consent by Annabel Lyon
- Detransition, Baby by Torrey Peters
- Exciting Times by Naoise Dolan
- How the One-Armed Sister Sweeps Her House by Cherie Jones
- Luster by Raven Leilani
- No One is Talking About This by Patricia Lockwood
- Nothing But Blue Sky by Kathleen Macmahon
- Piranesi by Susanna Clarke
- Small Pleasures by Clare Chambers
- Summer by Ali Smith
- The Golden Rule by Amanda Craig
- The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett
- Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi
- Unsettled Ground by Claire Fuller
This year’s longlist honours both new and well-established writers and a range of genres and themes — family (twins and siblings, mother-daughter relationships); motherhood; rural poverty and isolation; addiction; identity and belonging; race and class; grief and happiness; coming-of-age and later life. The novels span a range of different global settings, from South London to Deep South; Ghana, Hong Kong, Barbados, Brooklyn and a fantasy realm. The list features six debut novels, as well as a previously longlisted author (Amanda Craig) and one previous winner who has also been shortlisted twice before (Ali Smith).
Chair of judges and novelist Bernardine Evaristo, says:
We read so many brilliant novels for this year’s prize and had an energetic judging session where we discussed our passions, opinions and preferences. Sadly, we had to let some very deserving books go but we’re confident that we have chosen sixteen standout novels that represent a truly wide and varied range of fiction by women that reflects multiple perspectives, narrative styles and preoccupations. These novels fascinated, moved, inspired and challenged us and we’re excited at announcing their inclusion on the Women’s Prize longlist.
Bernardine is joined on the judging panel by podcaster, author and journalist, Elizabeth Day; TV and radio presenter, journalist and writer, Vick Hope; print columnist and writer, Nesrine Malik; and news presenter and broadcaster, Sarah-Jane Mee.
The judges will narrow down this longlist of 16 books to a shortlist of six, which will be announced on Wednesday 28 April 2021. The 2021 Women’s Prize for Fiction will be awarded on Wednesday 7 July 2021 at an awards ceremony in central London. The winner will receive an anonymously endowed cheque for £30,000 and a limited edition bronze figurine known as a ‘Bessie’, created and donated by the artist Grizel Niven. More information can be found on the Women’s Prize for Fiction website.
Your reading group can apply to shadow the shortlist of the Prize after its announcement on 28 April. Selected groups will receive copies of one shortlisted title and will be asked to discuss and review it. Find out more and apply now.
What do you think of the 2021 longlisted titles? Which have you read and what will be added to your TBR pile? Add your comments below, or click any title above to leave a review.
Keep up with all the latest news on the Women’s Prize website.
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