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Meena Kandasamy, Arundhati Roy in UK prize longlist

The Women’s Prize for Fiction celebrates excellence, originality and accessibility in writing by women in English from throughout the world.

world Updated: Mar 08, 2018 23:11 IST
Prasun Sonwalkar
Prasun Sonwalkar
Hindustan Times, London
Meena Kandasamy,Arundhati Roy,Indian writers
Arundhati Roy makes it to the 16-member longlist for her second novel, ‘The Ministry of Utmost Happiness’.(AFP File)

Noted Indian writers Meena Kandasamy and Arundhati Roy have been longlisted for this year’s Women’s Prize for Fiction that celebrates women’s creativity across the world, the organisers announced on Thursday.

Kandasamy has been included for her acclaimed book, ‘When I Hit You: Or, A Portrait of the Writer as a Young Wife’, while Roy makes it to the 16-member longlist for her second novel, ‘The Ministry of Utmost Happiness’.

Now in its 23rd year, the prize celebrates excellence, originality and accessibility in writing by women in English from throughout the world. The judges for the 2018 prize are: Sarah Sands, Anita Anand, Katy Brand, Catherine Mayer and Imogen Stubbs.

Sands, chair of the judges panel said, “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. Women of the world are a literary force to be reckoned with.”

The longlist includes new and well-established writers and a range of genres; it features two previously longlisted authors and one previously shortlisted author. There are six first novels on the list. The shortlist will be announced on April 23 and the prize on June 6.

Set up in 1996, the prize is awarded for the best full-length novel of the year written by a woman and published in the UK between April 1, 2017 and March 31, 2018. Any woman writing in English – whatever her nationality, country of residence, age or subject matter – is eligible.

The longlist announcement coinciding with International Women’s Day 2018 is H(A)PPYbyNicola Barker, The IdiotbyElif Batuman, Three Things About ElsiebyJoanna Cannon, Miss BurmabyCharmaine Craig Manhattan, BeachbyJennifer Egan, The Mermaid and Mrs HancockbyImogen Hermes Gowar, Sightby Jessie Greengrass, Eleanor Oliphant is Completely FinebyGail Honeyman, When I Hit You: Or, A Portrait of the Writer as a Young WifebyMeena Kandasamy, ElmetbyFiona Mozley, The Ministry of Utmost HappinessbyArundhati Roy, See What I Have DonebySarah Schmidt, A Boy in WinterbyRachel Seiffert, Home FirebyKamila Shamsie, The Trick to TimebyKit de Waal, Sing, Unburied, SingbyJesmyn Ward.

The winner will receive an anonymously endowed cheque of £30,000 and a limited edition bronze figurine known as a ‘Bessie’, created and donated by the artist Grizel Niven.

First Published: Mar 08, 2018 23:11 IST