Books

Women’s Prize for Fiction 2020: the longlist has been revealed

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Hollie Richardson
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Women's Prize for Fiction:

This year marks the 25th Women’s Prize for Fiction, and the longlist proves just what an exciting year it is for female writers. Here are the books you need to add to your reading list in 2020.

With so many bloody good books written by female authors being released, it can be overwhelming when trying to decide on which one to pick up at the bookshop next. Thankfully, the Women’s Prize for Fiction celebrates and rewards excellent women’s writing from across the world – whittling down the very best picks for you.

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Last year, Tayari Jones won the prize with Marriage Story, the exploration of a black couple in modern day America, which counted Barack Obama and Oprah Winfrey as fans. And back in 2018, Kamila Shamsie took the award for Homefire, her reworking of Sophocles’ Greek tragedy Antigone.

Now, the 16 books longlisted for the Women’s Prize has been announced. Let’s take a look at the books everybody is talking about…

Women's Prize judges
Women's Prize judges: Scarlett Curtis, Paula Hawkins, Martha Lane Fox, Viv Groskop and Melanie Eusebe.

Women’s Prize for Fiction longlist 2020

  • Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line by Deepa Anappara
  • Fleishman is in Trouble by Taffy Brodesser-Akner
  • Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams
  • Dominicana by Angie Cruz
  • Actress by Anne Enright
  • Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo
  • Nightingale Point by Luan Goldie
  • A Thousand Ships by Natalie Haynes
  • How We Disappeared by Jing-Jing Lee
  • The Most Fun We Ever Had by Claire Lombardo
  • The Mirror and the Light by Hilary Mantel
  • Girl by Edna O’ Brien
  • Hamnet by Maggie O’ Farrell
  • Weather by Jenny Offill
  • The Dutch House by Ann Patchett
  • Red at the Bone by Jacqueline Woodson

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The judges this year include chair and businesswoman Martha Lane Fox; co-founder of the Black British Business Awards Melanie Eusebe; writer and activist Scarlett Curtis; author and comedian Viv Groskop; and author Paula Hawkins.

Speaking about the longlist, Fox said: “Ahead of the longlist meeting I was anxious that the negotiations between judges might be as arduous as Brexit, but it was an absolute delight to pick our final 16 books. Entries for the Prize’s 25th year have been spectacular and we revelled in the variety, depth, humanity and joy of the writing – we hope everyone else will too.”

This year’s list included six debut authors, a previous winner (Ann Patchett for Bel Canto) and three previously shortlisted authors. 

The judging panel will now decide on a shortlist of six novels, which will be announced on 22 April 22. The 25th winner of the Women’s Prize for Fiction will be announced on Wednesday 3 June.

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Images: Women’s Prize