Great Fiction Reads: “Women’s Prize for Fiction” Shortlist and Winners

Looking for a summer reading list or just some great books to read anytime?

Why not look for titles from the Women’s Prize for Fiction  that showcases the very best writing by women for everyone and is one of the most respected, celebrated and successful literary awards in the world? The purpose of the prize is to “champion women writers on a global stage” and the winning books over the years are an exciting collection of compelling fiction, sure to make a great addition to your summer reading list!

Now in its 26th year, the Prize announced on April 28, the titles that have made the shortlist to contend for the 2021 prize. Winners will be announced on July 7th.

Here are the shortlisted titles, all available with your Livingston Public Library card.

How The One-Armed Sister Sweeps Her House : A Novel by Cherie Jones

Lala must deal with a chain of events that have terrible consequences when her petty criminal husband is interrupted in his attempt to rob one of the mansions in their “paradise” home of Baxter Beach, Barbados.

No One Is Talking About This : A Novel by Patricia Lockwood

Elevated to prominence for her social-media posts, a woman begins suffering from existential anxieties while learning the languages, customs and fears of her fans throughout the world, before an urgent text from home transforms her virtual perspectives.

Piranesi by Susanna Clarke

Living in a labyrinthine house of endless corridors, flooded staircases and thousands of statues, Piranesi assists the dreamlike dwelling’s only other resident throughout a mysterious research project before evidence emerges of an astonishing alternate world.

Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyaasi

A sixth-year PhD candidate grappling with the childhood faith of the evangelical church in which she was raised while researching the science behind the suffering that has devastated her Ghanaian immigrant family.

Unsettled Ground by Claire Fuller

When their mother dies suddenly, 51-year-old twins Jeanie and Julius, who have limited exposure to the outside world, strive to find a way forward until secrets from their mother’s past come to light, forcing them to question who they are.

The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett

Separated by their embrace of different racial identities, two mixed-race identical twins reevaluate their choices as one raises a black daughter in their southern hometown while the other passes for white with a husband who is unaware of her heritage.

 And you also pick your read from one of  these past 25 phenomenal winners.

Here are the winning titles of the past 5 years–

An American Marriage by Tayari Jones

Newlyweds Celestial and Roy are the embodiment of both the American Dream and the New South. He is a young executive and she is an artist on the brink of an exciting career. But as they settle into the routine of their life together, they are ripped apart by circumstances neither could have imagined.

The Glorious Heresies by Lisa McInerney

One messy murder affects the lives of five misfits who exist on the fringes of Ireland’s post-crash society. Biting, moving and darkly funny, this novel explores salvation, shame and the legacy of Ireland’s twentieth-century attitudes to sex and family.

Hamnet : A Novel Of The Plague by Maggie O’Farrell

 A short, piercing, deeply moving novel about the death of Shakespeare’s 11 year old son Hamnet–a name interchangeable with Hamlet in 15th century Britain–and the years leading up to the production of his great play. 

Home Fire by Kamila Shamsie

 The suspenseful and heartbreaking story of a family ripped apart by secrets and driven to pit love against loyalty, with devastating consequences. 

The Power : A Novel by Naomi Alderman

A rich Nigerian boy; a foster kid whose religious parents hide their true nature; an ambitious American politician; a tough London girl from a tricky family. When a vital new force takes root and flourishes, their lives converge with devastating effect. Teenage girls and women now have immense physical power– they can cause agonizing pain and even death. And everything changes.

-Archana, Adult Services and Acquisitions Librarian

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