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If you’re looking to add to your reading list for the spring season, the longlist for the Women’s Prize for Fiction is a great place to start.
The 25th Women’s Prize for Fiction features a wide range of books written by female authors.
It celebrates women from all over the world, so you’re bound to find a few stories you’re interested in.
This year’s longlist sees 16 books up for the coveted prize, with authors from across the globe hoping they’ll be the lucky winner.
Booker Prize winner Bernardine Evaristo is among those on the list, with her unique novel Girl, Woman, Other.
It follows the lives of 12 characters in the United Kingdom over the course of several decades.
Each character is from a different area and has very different wants, goals and desires, meaning the reader gets to meet all sorts of women throughout the novel.
Another hopeful is Deepa Anappara, with her coming of age story Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line. This sees nine-year-old Jai using the crime-solving skills he learned from his favourite TV show to find a missing schoolboy.
It’s up against another coming-of-age story Dominicana by Angie Cruz, which follows 15-year-old Ana who moves from America from the Dominican countryside.
Divorce satire Fleishman is in Trouble by Taffy Brodesser-Akner and psychological thriller Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams are also up for the award, with novels that aren’t afraid to tackle real life issues such as relationships, mental health and race.
Historical fiction Actress by Anne Enright focuses on fame, sexual power and hidden truths, whereas Luan Goldie’s debut novel Nightingale Point is a heart-breaking story about working class families facing a tragedy.
Natalie Haynes’ A Thousand Ships is a historical retelling of the Trojan War from a female perspective, and How We Disappeared by Jing-Jing Lee is a story of survival and endurance in Japanese occupied Signapore.
Family drama The Most Fun We Ever Had by Claire Lombardo tells the story of the ‘messy’ Sorenson family, whilst Edna O’Brien’s Girl sheds light on the horrors of the Boko Haram.
Historical novel The Mirror and the Light by Hilary Mental charts the rise of Thomas Cromwell, and Maggie O’Farrell’s Hamnet is about the death of Sheakespeare’s 11-year-old son.
Jenny Offill’s entry Weather explores climate change dread, whilst Ann Patchett’s The Dutch House tells the story of a brother and sister over five decades.
Finally, Jacqueline Woodson’s Red at the Bone explores the impact history and community, and how an unexpected teenage pregnancy pulls two families together.
Judge chair and businesswoman Martha Lane Fox said of the longlist, “Ahead of the longlist meeting I was anxious that the negotiations between judges might be as arduous as Brexit, but it was an absolute delight to pick our final 16 books.
“Entries for the Prize’s 25th year have been spectacular and we revelled in the variety, depth, humanity and joy of the writing – we hope everyone else will too.”
Which one will you be reading first?