In an announcement timed to coincide with International Women’s Day, the longlist for the 2017 Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction has been unveiled. Now in its 22nd year, and fourth year in partnership with Baileys, the prize celebrates excellence, originality and accessibility in writing by women, in English, from around the world.
Set up in 1996 to celebrate and promote international fiction by women throughout the world, the prize is awarded to the best full-length novel of the year written by a woman and published in the UK between April 1st 2016 and March 31st 2017. Any woman writing in English, regardless of age, nationality, country of residence or subject matter is eligible for the prize.
The sixteen strong longlists features both new and established writers, with a number of past winners, shortlistees and longlistees getting another nod. Whilst three debut novels have also made the longlist. British writers are the most represented group on the list, with six writers getting a nod, with Canadian and American writers also getting three nominations apiece.
The winner will receive a cheque for £30,000 and a limited edition bronze named ‘Bessie’, created and donated by the artist Grizel Niven. The winner will be announced at an awards ceremony held at The Clore Ballroom at the Royal Festival Hall on June 7th
The prize also boasts an all-female judging panel which this year is made up of Tessa Ross, CEO House Productions; journalist and author Sam Baker; presenter and broadcaster Katie Derham; Novelist, Memoirist and Essayist Aminatta Forna and the comedian and author Sara Pascoe.
“The judges had a large number of books of extraordinary quality to choose from this year, and so I can’t say that it was an easy process to come up with a list as short as sixteen,” commented Tessa Ross, Chair of Judges. “However, we’re all thrilled by where we’ve ended up and truly excited by the quality and range of talent on this year’s longlist. It’s a great showcase for the very best contemporary women’s fiction – we hope that it will inspire readers everywhere.”
The longlisted books are as follows:
Stay With Me – Ayobami Adebayo
The Power – Naomi Alderman
Hag-Seed – Margaret Atwood
Little Deaths – Emma Flint
The Mare – Mary Gaitskill
The Dark Circle – Linda Grant
The Lesser Bohemians – Eimear McBride
Midwinter – Fiona Melrose
The Sport of Kings – C.E. Morgan
The Woman Next Door – Yewande Omotoso
The Lonely Hearts Hotel – Heather O’Neill
The Essex Serpent – Sarah Perry
Barkskins – Annie Proulx
First Love – Gwendoline Riley
Do Not Say We Have Nothing – Madeleine Thien
The Gustav Sonata – Rose Tremain
For more information about the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction visit HERE.
The shortlist of six books will be announced on 3rd April with the winner announced 7th June.