The Women's Prize for Fiction shortlist announced: 6 books to have on your radar now

Marie-Claire Chappet
·2-min read
Photo credit: SAM HOLDEN AGENCY
Photo credit: SAM HOLDEN AGENCY

The Women's Prize for Fiction has announced its 2021 shortlist. The six novels to make the cut are The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett, Piranesi by Susanna Clarke, Unsettled Ground by Claire Fuller, Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi, How the One Armed Sister Sweeps Her House by Cherie Jones and No One is Talking About This by Patricia Lockwood.

The shortlist features a diverse range of authors and subjects, from tales of mysterious creatures and rural isolation to searing sagas of race and piercing explorations of our digital lives. The final six also features both seasoned and fledging writers, including two debut novelists, Cherie Jones and Patricia Lockwood.

The finalists were selected by a panel made up of chair of judges Bernardine Evaristo and podcaster, author and Bazaar contributing editor Elizabeth Day; TV and radio presenter, journalist and writer, Vick Hope; print columnist and writer, Nesrine Malik; and news presenter and broadcaster, Sarah-Jane Mee.

Photo credit: SAM HOLDEN AGENCY
Photo credit: SAM HOLDEN AGENCY

"Coming up with a longlist of sixteen books for this prize was relatively easy compared to whittling the selection down to six novels, which by necessity demands more consensus," Bernadine Evaristo explained,. "Sadly, we had to lose so many exceptional books that we loved. However, with this shortlist, we are excited to present a gloriously varied and thematically rich exploration of women’s fiction at its finest. Fiction by women defies easy categorisation or stereotyping, and all of these novels grapple with society’s big issues expressed through thrilling storytelling. We feel passionate about them, and we hope readers do too."

The winner of the 2021 Women’s Prize for Fiction will be awarded on Wednesday 7 July 2021 at an evening awards ceremony in central London. The prize includes 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.

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