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There’s nothing better than a good book, so the saying goes. And in times of uncertainty, we often find relaxation in escaping our own lives and delving into somebody else’s.
This has never been more true than in 2020 and 2021, tough years in which getting some time to ourselves for a good read has never been more important or restorative.
But what are the best books to read this year? Well, luckily, The Women’s Prize for Fiction longlist has just been announced, providing us with 16 must reads for the year ahead.
‘We read so many brilliant novels for this year’s prize and had an energetic judging session where we discussed our passions, opinions and preferences,’ explained Bernadine Evaristo, acclaimed novelist and Chair of judges. ‘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. ‘
Here is the Women’s Prize for Fiction longlist…
1. Unsettled Ground by Claire Fuller
2. Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi
3. The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett
4. The Golden Rule by Amanda Craig
5. Summer by Ali Smith
6. Small Pleasures by Clare Chambers
7. Nothing but blue sky by Kathleen MacMahon
8. No one is talking about this by Patricia Lockwood
9. Luster by Raven Leilani
10. How the One-Armed Sister Sweeps Her House by Cherie Jones
11. Exciting Times by Naoise Dolan
12. Detransition, Baby by Torrey Peters
13. Consent by Annabel Lyon
14. Burnt Sugar by Avni Doshi
15. Because of You by Dawn French
16. Piranesi by Susanna Clarke
Joining Bernadine Evaristo on the judging panel are Elizabeth Day, Vick Hope, Nesrine Malik and Sarah-Jane Mee, whose job is now to narrow the list down to a shortlist of just six novels.
The shortlist of six novels will be released on April 28th, and the 25th winner of the Women’s Prize for Fiction will be announced on Wednesday 7th July.
Congratulations to all sixteen of the longlisted authors!