Timed to coincide with International Women’s Day, the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction announced the longlist of 16 nominees for the prestigious literary award. The prize is for a full-length work of fiction in English by a woman anywhere in the world (previously, the award had been limited to writers from the UK and Commonwealth nations).
This year’s finalists include well-known authors such as Margaret Atwood, Mary Gaitskill, and Annie Proulx, and debut novelists like Ayọ̀bámi Adébáyọ̀̀, Emma Flint, and Fiona Melrose. Past winners Linda Grant, Eimear McBride, and Rose Tremain return to the longlist as well. This year’s nominees hail from the US, the UK, Ireland, Canada, South Africa, and Nigeria.
The selections were made by an all-female panel of judges: CEO of House Productions Tessa Ross, broadcaster Katie Derham, comedian Sara Pascoe, writer Aminatta Forna, and journalist Sam Baker.
“The judges had a large number of books of extraordinary quality to choose from this year, and so I can’t say that it was an easy process to come up with a list as short as 16,” said Ross. “However, we’re all thrilled by where we’ve ended up and truly excited by the quality and range of talent on this year’s longlist. It’s a great showcase for the very best contemporary women’s fiction – we hope that it will inspire readers everywhere.”
The shortlist of six novels will be revealed on April 5, with the winner to be announced at a ceremony on June 7. The winner will receive 30,000 GBP (USD $36,465).
Ayọ̀bámi Adébáyọ̀̀, Stay With Me
Naomi Alderman, The Power
Margaret Atwood, Hag-Seed
Emma Flint, Little Deaths
Mary Gaitskill, The Mare
Linda Grant, The Dark Circle
Eimear McBride, The Lesser Bohemians
Fiona Melrose, Midwinter
C.E. Morgan, The Sport of Kings
Yewande Omotoso, The Woman Next Door
Heather O’Neill, The Lonely Hearts Hotel
Sarah Perry, The Essex Serpent
Annie Proulx, Barkskins
Gwendoline Riley, First Love
Madeleine Thien, Do Not Say We Have Nothing
Rose Tremain, The Gustav Sonata