Excellent timing, the women’s prize for fiction is announced during the London Literature Festival at the Royal Festival Hall on the South Bank, which I had the opportunity to visit on Saturday (more on that excitement later!).
A strong list, and some equally strong and divided opinions about the books that made the list and a bit of a surprise result, it has to be said.
So to remind you, the six shortlisted authors and their books were:
In the opinion of the judges the book chosen mostly ably fulfilled the criteria of the award, being originality, accessibility and excellence.
And the winner was:
May We Be Forgiven by AM Homes
A first book award for her 10th book, a career spanning 25 years and a dream fulfilled at last. The author paid tribute to her father who sadly passed away a month ago, knowing that his daughter had made the short list and also to her grandmother who lent her the money for her first typewriter and made sure she paid it back.
“… this book really struck all the judges, partly because of just the pure quality of its writing, it has this incredible energy, at times its very vicious and very bleak, but it also has this warmth that comes through at the ending… it is one of those books that speaks to people in different ways and really is something that begins conversations and begins thoughts…” Natasha Walter, Judge
The new sponsor has also been announced and there was plenty of the beige drink being served from all accounts, so from next year expect to hear about the Bailey’s Women’s Prize for Fiction
Well done AM Homes, up against strong contenders, including the almost invincible Hilary Mantel.
Let’s hope that it’s a good omen for her publisher Granta, after the rapid departure of most of their management team, the publisher/magazine currently having to rebuild itself from scratch.
Looks like I have yet another book to add to the list!