BY EMEKA NWAKOBI
The winner for the 2019 women’s Prize for Fiction will be announced today, 5th of June, 2019.
The Prize aims to celebrate and promote fiction written in English by women. Any woman, regardless of nationality, country of residence, age or subject matter; is eligible.
The winner will receive an anonymously endowed cheque for £30,000 and a limited edition bronze figurine known as ‘Bessie,’ created and donated by the artist Grizel Niven.
Chair of Judges, Professor Kate Williams, author, historian and Professor of history. Other Judges include; Arifa Akbar, journalist and critic. Dolly Alderton, columnist, broadcaster and author; Leyla Hussein, campaigner and psychotherapist and digital entrepreneur Sarah Wood.
Until the winner is announced, we do not know which of the novels entered will come through. However, below is a rundown of the shortlist, just so you know what to expect:
THE SILENCE OF THE GIRLS by Pat Barker: This 2018 novel by English writer and novelist Pat Barker; tells the story of the Greek siege of the city of Troy, from the point of view of Briseis, the daughter Briseus, a maiden captured during the Trojan War and taken as Achilles’ trophy.
CIRCE by Madeline Miller: Chosen as book of the year by The Guardian, Telegraph, Sunday Telegraph, I Paper, Sunday Express, Irish Times, Times Literary Supplement, Amazon, Audible, Buzzfeed, Refinery 29, Washington Post, Boston Globe, Seattle Times, Time Magazine, Newsweek, People, Entertainment Weekly, Kirkus, Publishers Weekly and Goodreads. This book enjoys a wide acclaim and seems top on the list for this prize. Circe a strange child with supernatural powers, caught in-between a man’s world, is banished to the island of Aiaia, when the gods felt threatened by her gift.
ORDINARY PEOPLE by Diana Evans: Katy Waldman described Ordinary People as a blend of domesticity and celebrity, with a gothic twist. Look out for this book which explores love, compromise and the way we live today.
MY SISTER, THE SERIAL KILLER by Oyinkan Braithwaite: this short satirical novel, described by good reads as ‘a hand grenade,’ tells the story of a Nigerian woman whose younger sister is in the habit of killing her boyfriends.
MILKMAN by Anna Burns: Milkman won the 2018 Man Booker Prize for Fiction. It also won the 2018 National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction. This book stands tall, in an array of very tall books that entered for this year’s prize. Set during the Northern Ireland Conflict the story follows an 18year old girl who is harassed by an older married man known as the “Milkman.”
AN AMERICAN MARRIAGE by Tayari Jones: An American Marriage was chosen for Oprah’s Book Club in 2018. It focuses on the marriage of a middle class African-American couple, Roy and Celestial, who live in Atlanta and whose lives are torn apart when Roy is wrongfully convicted of a rape he didn’t commit.
The Women’s prize for fiction which established in 1996 and awards outstanding fiction written by women from all over the world.