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2021 Women’s Prize for Fiction Longlist Announced

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Pierce Alquist

Senior Contributor

Pierce Alquist is a transplanted New Yorker living and working in the publishing scene in Boston. Don’t worry if she fooled you, the red hair is misleading. She’s a literature in translation devotee and reviewer and lover of small, independent presses. A voracious traveler and foodie, you can find her in her kitchen making borscht or covered in red pepper paste as she perfects her kimchi recipe.

Celebrating excellence, originality, and accessibility in writing by women in English from across the world, the Women’s Prize for Fiction has announced its 2021 longlist. The longlist encompasses a wide range of genres, themes, and settings—from London to Hong Kong, Barbados to Brooklyn, among others—and features both established authors like Yaa Gyasi and Ali Smith and newcomers alike. The shortlist will be announced on April 28th and the winner will be announced on July 7th.

Chair of the judges and award-winning novelist of Girl, Woman, Other, Bernardine Evaristo commented on the list, writing: “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. 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.”

The 2021 judging panel includes chair Bernardine Evaristo; 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. In a video posted on Twitter, the judging panel talk briefly about each of the books on the longlist and why they were chosen.

2021 Women’s Prize for Fiction 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

Check out last year’s nominees and winner:

2020 Women’s Prize for Fiction Longlist

2020 Women’s Prize for Fiction Shortlist

2020 Women’s Prize for Fiction Winner