Maggie O’Farrell wins 2020 Women’s Prize for Fiction

Women's Prize for Fiction

Overnight it has been announced that Maggie O’Farrell has won the 2020 Women’s Prize for Fiction with her eighth novel Hamnet. 

As has become the norm in the age of COVID, the announcement was made during a live digital awards ceremony, with 2020 Chair of Judges Martha Lane Fox announcing O’Farrell as this year’s winner live from London, whilst fellow judge Paula Hawkins presented the author with the £30,000 prize and the “Bessie” in her hometown of Edinburgh. 

O’Farrell’s Hamnet, which is inspired by the life and death of William Shakespeare’s only son, was chosen from a heavy hitting shortlist that also included, Dominicana by Angie Cruz, Bernardine Evaristo’s Girl, Woman, Other, A Thousand Ships by Natalie Haynes, Hilary Mantel’s The Mirror and the Light, and Weather by Jenny Offill. 

Here’s what Martha Lane Fox had to say about the winning novel:

“The euphoria of being in the same room for the final judging meeting was quickly eclipsed by the excitement we all feel about this exceptional winner. Hamnet, while set long ago, like all truly great novels expresses something profound about the human experience that seems both extraordinarily current and at the same time, enduring.”

Maggie O’Farrell’s Hamnet is available now from Headline. Grab your copy from Booktopia HERE.

Header photo sourced from Women’s Prize for Fiction official site. 

Simon Clark

Books Editor. An admirer of songs and reader of books. Simon has a PhD in English and Comparative Literature. All errant apostrophes are his own.

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