Women’s Prize for Fiction announces 2021 longlist

Posted on 11th March 2021

Blake Morgan are proud to be partner the Women’s Prize for Fiction – one of the biggest  annual, international celebrations of women’s creativity – again this year.

The 2021 longlist has been announced today (11 March). Now in its 26t​h year, the Prize shines a spotlight on outstanding, ambitious, original fiction written in English by women from anywhere in the world.

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).

The Women’s Prize for Fiction 2021 longlist (in alphabetical order by surname):

  • Brit Bennett – The Vanishing Half (Dialogue Books)
  • Clare Chambers – Small Pleasures (Weidenfeld & Nicolson)
  • Susanna Clarke – Piranesi (Bloomsbury Publishing)
  • Amanda Craig – The Golden Rule (Little, Brown)
  • Naoise Dolan – Exciting Times (Weidenfeld & Nicolson)
  • Avni Doshi – Burnt Sugar (Hamish Hamilton)
  • Dawn French – Because Of You (Michael Joseph)
  • Claire Fuller – Unsettled Ground (Fig Tree)
  • Yaa Gyasi – Transcendent Kingdom (Viking Books)
  • Cherie Jones – How the One-Armed Sister Sweeps Her House (Tinder Press)
  • Raven Leilani – Luster (Picador)
  • Patricia Lockwood – No One is Talking About This (Bloomsbury Circus)
  • Annabel Lyon – Consent (Atlantic Books)
  • Kathleen McMahon – Nothing But Blue Sky (Sandycove Press)
  • Torrey Peters – Detransition, Baby (Serpent’s Tail)
  • Ali Smith – Summer (Hamish Hamilton)

Collection of books

Chair of judges and novelist ​Bernardine Evaristo​ said: “W​e 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, Vicky Hope; print columnist and writer, Nesrine Malik; and news presenter and broadcaster, Sarah-Jane Mee.

Set up in 1996 to celebrate and promote fiction by women to the widest range of readers possible, the Women’s Prize for Fiction is awarded for the best full-length novel of the year written by a woman and published in the UK between 1 April 2020 and 31 March 2021. Any woman writing in English – whatever her nationality, country of residence, age or subject matter – is eligible.

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 here: ​​www.womensprizeforfiction.co.uk.

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