Arundhati Roy, Meena Kandaswamy in the 2018 Women’s Prize for Fiction longlist

The Women’s Prize for Fiction announced its 2018 longlist of 16 novels on International Women’s Day.

books Updated: Mar 08, 2018 17:13 IST
Hindustan Times
Man Booker longlist,2018 Women’s Prize for Fiction,Women’s Prize for Fiction
Arundhati Roy’s The Ministry of Utmost Happiness was also in the 2017 Man Booker longlist. (Mayank Austen Soofi)

The Women’s Prize for Fiction, previously known as the Baileys Prize, announced its longlist for 2018 on March 8.

Arundhati Roy’s The Ministry of Utmost Happiness and Meena Kandasamy’s When I Hit You: Or, A Portrait of the Writer as a Young Wife are among the 16 novels longlisted this year.This year’s longlist covers both new and well-established writers, like Booker Prize-winning Roy, and a range of genres. There are six debut novels on the list and four nationalities are represented including India, the UK, US and Australia.

Roy, 56, who won the Booker Prize for her debut novel The God of Small Things in 1997, had been longlisted for the 2017 Booker for The Ministry of Utmost Happiness, but missed out being shortlisted.

“What is striking about the list, apart from the wealth of talent, is that women writers refuse to be pigeon-holed. We have searing social realism, adventure, comedy, poetic truths, ingenious plots and unforgettable characters,” said Sarah Sands, 2018 chair of judges and Editor of BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme.

Here are the 16 books longlisted for the 2018 Women’s Prize for Fiction:

H(A)PPY by Nicola Barker

The Idiot by Elif Batuman

Three Things About Elsie by Joanna Cannon

Miss Burma by Charmaine Craig

Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan

The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock by Imogen Hermes Gowar

Sight by Jessie Greengrass

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

When I Hit You: Or, A Portrait of the Writer as a Young Wife by Meena Kandasamy

Elmet by Fiona Mozley

The Ministry of Utmost Happiness by Arundhati Roy

See What I Have Done by Sarah Schmidt

A Boy in Winter by Rachel Seiffert

Home Fire by Kamila Shamsie

The Trick to Time by Kit de Waal

Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward

Set up in 1996 to celebrate and promote international fiction by women throughout the world to the widest range of readers possible, the Women’s Prize for Fiction is awarded for the best full-length novel of the year written by a woman and published in the UK between April 2017 and March 2018.

Any woman writing in English – whatever her nationality, country of residence, age or subject matter – is eligible. Sands leads this year’s team of judges that include British Indian journalist and broadcaster Anita Anand, comedian Katie Brand, Women’s Equality Party co-founder Catherine Mayer and actor Imogen Stubbs.

The 2018 award is supported by Baileys, Deloitte and NatWest. The winner will be announced on June 6. The winner, who will join the likes of previous winners Lionel Shriver, Naomi Alderman and Zadie Smith, will receive an anonymously endowed cheque for £30,000 (approx Rs 28 lakh), and a limited-edition bronze figurine known as a ‘Bessie’, created and donated by English artist Grizel Niven.

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First Published: Mar 08, 2018 14:31 IST