The Women’s Prize for Fiction is one of the most prestigious literary awards in the English-speaking world. It was established in the United Kingdom to recognize the best original full-length novel written in English by a female author of any nationality. The Women’s Prize has been awarded to a number of beloved authors, including Barbara Kingsolver, Marilynne Robinson, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Zadie Smith, and Ann Patchett. If it doesn’t sound familiar, perhaps it’s because the Women’s Prize was called the Orange Prize from the time it was launched in 1996 until last year, when it parted ways with its main sponsor.
The 2013 longlist was announced earlier this month; the shortlist of finalists will be announced on April 16 and the final prize will be awarded on June 4.
If you are searching for your next book, the Women’s Prize longlist has some great inspiration! Here’s the list, with summaries from our catalog:
Life After Life
by Kate Atkinson
The award-winning author of Behind the Scenes at the Museum follows the experiences of a woman who after being born on a snowy night in 1910 repeated dies and reincarnates into the same life to correct missteps and ultimately save the world.
The Marlowe Papers
by Ros Barber
Exiled writer Christopher Marlowe shares the story of his life from his humble youth as a cobbler's son who counted nobles among his friends to his adult misadventures as a Queen's spy, fickle lover and religious skeptic whose talent for plays, poetry and trouble led him to hide his identity behind the name William Shakespeare.
The People of Forever are Not Afraid
by Shani Boianjiu
This coming-of-age story follows the lives of three Israeli girls who join the Israeli Defense Forces when they turn 18 and deal with gossip and flirting along with the threat of constant danger and intense military training.
by Gillian Flynn
When a beautiful woman goes missing on her fifth wedding anniversary, her diary reveals hidden turmoil in her marriage and a mysterious illness; while her husband, desperate to clear himself of suspicion, realizes that something more disturbing than murder may have occurred.
How Should A Person Be?
by Sheila Heti
Facing a creative dilemma after a failed marriage, Sheila gathers inspiration from a depraved and free-spirited artist who becomes her lover, in a tale based on incidents from the author's true life that combines literary observations, self-help advice and unstinting confessions.
May We Be Forgiven
by A.M Homes
Feeling overshadowed by his more-successful younger brother, Harold is shocked by his brother's violent act of rage, which irrevocably changes both of their lives, placing Harold in the psychologically dynamic role of father figure to his brother's adolescent children and caregiver to his aging parents.
by Barbara Kingsolver
Tired of living on a failing farm and suffering oppressive poverty, bored housewife Dellarobia Turnbow, on the way to meet a potential lover, is detoured by a miraculous event on the Appalachian mountainside that ignites a media and religious firestorm that changes her life forever.
The Red Book
by Deborah Copaken Kogan
Centering around Harvard's Red Book, a collection of personal triumphs and failures from graduates, this tongue-in-cheek novel follows a group of roommates from the class of 1989 as they prepare for their 20th reunion weekend.
Bring Up the Bodies
by Hilary Mantel
A sequel to the Man Booker Prize-winning Wolf Hall depicts the downfall of Anne Boleyn at the hands of Henry VIII and Thomas Cromwell as Anne and her powerful family fight back while she is on trial for adultery and treason.
by Bonnie Nadzam
Hoping to regain a sense of goodness in himself after the disintegration of his marriage and the death of his father, middle-aged David Lamb focuses on helping awkward and unpopular eleven-year-old Tommie by taking her on a road trip from Chicago to the Rockies.
by Emily Perkins
Dorothy Forrest absently accompanies her dysfunctional family as they relocate from New York City to New Zealand, where she is swept through an emotionally charged existence of commune dwelling, early marriage, parenting, and loss.
by Michèle Roberts
Growing up side by side in the Catholic village of Ste. Madeleine, pious grocer's daughter Marie Angèle aspires to a life of comfort while impoverished laundress' daughter Jeanne hides her Jewish heritage, until the outbreak of war binds the girls together.
by Francesca Segal
As he prepares for his wedding to Rachel Gilbert, the woman he has been with for 12 years, 28-year-old Adam Newman begins to question everything when Rachel's fiercely independent and beautiful young cousin moves home from New York, offering him a liberation he never knew existed.
Where’d You Go, Bernadette
by Maria Semple
When her notorious, hilarious, volatile, talented, troubled, and agoraphobic mother goes missing, teenage Bee begins a trip that takes her to the ends of the earth to find her.
by Elif Shafak
The lives of twin sisters born in 1940s Turkey diverge when one stays in their childhood village and becomes a revered midwife while the other moves to London with her bitter husband and three children.
by Zadie Smith
Growing up in the same 1970s urban planning development in Northwest London, four young people pursue independent and reasonably successful lives until one of them is abruptly drawn out of her isolation by a stranger who is seeking her help.
The Light Between Oceans
by M.L. Stedman
Moving his young bride to an isolated lighthouse home on Australia's Janus Rock where the couple suffers miscarriages and a stillbirth, Tom allows his wife to claim an infant that has washed up on the shore, a decision with devastating consequences.
Alif the Unseen
G. Willow Wilson
Forced underground when his ex-lover's new fiancé breaches his computer, putting him and his clients in jeopardy, young Arab-Indian hacker Alif discovers the secret book of the jinn and uses its insights to enable life-threatening developments in information technology.
A Trick I Learned From Dead Men
by Kitty Aldridge
Not yet available in a U.S. edition, this novel is about a young man coping with loss by becoming an apprentice at a funeral parlor.
Mateship with Birds
by Carrie Tiffany
Not yet available in a U.S. edition, this story takes place in 1950’s rural Australia, where a bird-loving farmer finds himself in trouble when he tries to teach his young neighbor about the birds and the bees.
Posted on 3/22/2013 by Christy Thomas, Librarian, Main Library