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Womens Prize for Fiction Shortlist Announced

Women’s prize for fiction shortlist led by Mantel, Evaristo and O’Farrell

Finalists for the £30,000 prize announced after ‘a long Zoom meeting’ were praised by judges for engaging with the biggest contemporary issues

By Allison Flood

Set in an Elizabethan England haunted by the threat of plague, Maggie O’Farrell’s unexpectedly timely novel about the death of Shakespeare’s son, Hamnet, will go up against Hilary Mantel’s The Mirror and the Light for this year’s Women’s prize for fiction.

The novels, which are among the biggest books of 2020, lead a heavyweight shortlist that will compete this autumn for the £30,000 prize. Bernadine Evaristo’s Booker prize-winning Girl, Woman, Other, that follows a cast of 12 characters, mainly black women, is also among the finalists, as are Jenny Offill’s Weather, an exploration of climate anxiety; Natalie Haynes’s A Thousand Ships, a retelling of the Trojan war from the perspectives of the women involved; and Angie Cruz’s Dominicana, about a teenage girl who is married off to an older man in order to get her family out of the Dominican Republic and into the US. Read the full story at The Guardian.

We’re excited to see so many Literary Affairs favorites on this list! A Thousand Ships is among our Books in the Bag book club picks, Hamnet is one of our most-anticipated Upcoming Releases, and Girl, Woman, Other was our January Book of the Month. Congratulations to Natalie Haynes, Maggie O’Farrell, and Bernardine Evaristo!

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