This year's Women's Prize for Fiction longlist features inspiring and important books to read this year

This year's Women's Prize for Fiction longlist features inspiring books that have never been more important to delve into

Women's prize for fiction 2021 longlist
(Image credit: Future)

The Women's Prize for Fiction 2021 longlist has been revealed - and it features important and inspiring reads that have never been more apt.

This year's longlist of 16 books aims to celebrate diversity among women writers, as well as the historical societal journey of female liberation and the tumultuous relationships they face with those in life, with some of the up-and-coming best books of 2021 being featured - all of which have never been poignant for women in today's society.

"We read so many brilliant novels for this year’s prize and had an energetic judging session where we discussed our passions, opinions and preferences," says novelist and chair of judges Bernardine Evaristo. "Sadly, we had to let some very deserving books go but we’re confident that we have chosen sixteen standout novels that represent a truly wide and varied range of fiction by women that reflects multiple perspectives, narrative styles and preoccupations. These novels fascinated, moved, inspired and challenged us and we’re excited at announcing their inclusion on the Women’s Prize longlist."

Also on the judges panel with Girl, Woman, Other writer Bernardine, are, podcaster, author and journalist, Elizabeth Day; TV and radio presenter, journalist and writer, Vick Hope; print columnist and writer, Nesrine Malik; and news presenter and broadcaster, Sarah-Jane Mee.

When it comes to the books that the panel settled on for the Women’s Prize longlist, the judges picked some of the best books of 2020 as well as other slightly newer or slightly older additions too, many of which centre around the themes of familial female relationships, motherhood, poverty and isolation, addiction, identity and belonging, race and class, grief and happiness and coming-of-age.

And of course it is full of books for women, which have never been more widely celebrated than they are today - so we know we'll definitely downloading most of these onto our Kindles and eReaders to make a show of support for these amazing female writers. 

Women's Prize for Fiction 2021 longlist

  • Because of You by Dawn French
  • Burnt Sugar by Avni Doshi
  • Consent by Annabel Lyon
  • Detransition, Baby by Torrey Peters
  • Exciting Times by Naoise Dolan
  • How the One-Armed Sister Sweeps Her House by Cherie Jones
  • Luster by Raven Leilani
  • No One is Talking About This by Patricia Lockwood
  • Nothing But Blue Sky by Kathleen MacMahon
  • Piranesi by Susanna Clarke
  • Small Pleasures by Clare Chambers
  • Summer by Ali Smith
  • The Golden Rule by Amanda Craig
  • The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett
  • Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi
  • Unsettled Ground by Claire Fuller

Women's Prize for Fiction 2021 longlist: What should I read?

















Aleesha Badkar
Aleesha Badkar

Aleesha is digital shopping writer at woman&home - so whether you're looking for beauty, fashion, health or home buys, she knows all the best places to splash your cash. She earned an MA in Magazine Journalism from City, University of London in 2017 after graduating from University of Leeds in 2014 with a BA in English and Spanish (which took her to Madrid for a fun Rioja and tapas-packed year). Aleesha has worked for woman&home since 2019, when she joined the team as their digital news writer. A year on the news team gained her quick and reactive writing skills and a love for breaking stories, invaluable insight into where to get the best lifestyle releases first, an AOP awards nomination and the nickname ‘crazy watch lady’ after she became so obsessed with the royals that she followed breaking news alerts on her Apple Watch.


Before joining the woman&home team, Aleesha wrote for their sister site GoodtoKnow, where she covered celebrity news, health advice and where to snap up the cheapest lifestyle buys. With a background in beauty, Aleesha has also written for Stylist and Women’s Health where she developed an understanding into what makes a stellar product and which brands are worth paying attention to. She never leaves the house without a slick of lip balm and a good slathering of SPF, cannot live without an eyelash curler by her side and is always on the hunt for new lipsticks to add to her ‘Lipstick of the Day’ Instagram story highlight (and color-coordinated collection).

But it’s not just beauty buys Aleesha can help you with. Social media savviness, strong PR relationships and a need to stay in the know mean she’s all about the latest fashions, clever gadgets and reliable lifestyle buys too. She loves indulging in an interior craze (with a bedroom drowned in prints, plants and pink), is a regular visitor to the Missoma and Edge of Ember 'New In' pages and can’t resist the allure of a kitchen gadget—just ask her three coffee machines.

When she’s not playing around with new products and testing anything she can get her hands on, Aleesha spends most of her time with her head in a current bestseller, catching up on the latest Netflix craze with her sister, trying out new recipes, drinking wine with her bestie and (in non-COVID times) has been known to be a bit of a jetsetter amongst her friendship group. Oh and she makes the most of her Disney+ subscription by watching the Marvel films on repeat (definitely not just for Chris Evans...).

Follow her latest shopping & lifestyle advice, beauty insights and social antics on Instagram at @aleeshabadkar.


Twitter: @aleeshabadkar

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Email: aleesha.badkar@futurenet.com