Women’s Prize For Fiction 2021 Shortlist Announced

Shutterstock / Andrii Kobryn © women's prize for fiction

The judging panel for this year’s Women’s Prize For Fiction features has announced its shortlist.

Excitingly, it contains six writers who have never previously been nominated for the prize. And lots of great reading!

The books have been selected by the Chair of judges Bernardine Evaristo and her judging panel. The panel are:

  • Podcaster, author and journalist, Elizabeth Day.
  • TV and radio presenter, journalist and writer, Vick Hope.
  • Print columnist and writer, Nesrine Malik.
  • News presenter and broadcaster, Sarah-Jane Mee.

The books are:

“The Vanishing Half”, by Brit Bennett. Fiction Ed Lucy actually reviewed this book for us earlier in the year. Obviously she has a nose for a good one!

“Piranesi”, by Susanna Clarke.

“Unsettled Ground”, by Claire Fuller.

“Transcendent Kingdom”, by Yaa Gyasi. Our Lucy previously reviewed “Homegoing” by Yaa Gyasi, calling it “absolutely superb, necessarily sad in places, but with hope, too, for the future”. Read her full review here.

“How The One-armed Sister Sweeps Her House”, by Cherie Jones.

“No One Is Talking About This”, by Patricia Lockwood.

Fiction by women defies easy categorisation or stereotyping

“Coming up with a longlist of sixteen books for this prize was relatively easy compared to whittling the selection down to six novels,” Chair of judges Bernardine Evaristo, said.

“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.

“These novels will take the reader from a rural Britain left behind to the underbelly of a community in Barbados; from inside the hectic performance of social media to inside a family beset by addiction and oppression; from a tale of racial hierarchy in America to a mind-expanding tale of altered perceptions.

“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.”

For more on the Women’s Prize For Fiction, click here.

If you’re interested in book reviews from the “Friend” team, then click here for more!

Iain McDonald

Iain is Digital Content Editor at the "Friend", making him responsible for managing flow of interesting and entertaining content on the magazine's website and social media channels.