Books

Bernardine Evaristo, Hilary Mantel and Taffy Brodesser-Akner on 2020 Women's Prize for Fiction longlist

Sixteen books have made the longlist of the 2020 Women's Prize for Fiction, an annual £30,000 award (approx. $51,335 Cdn) given to the year's best novel written by a woman in English.

The award celebrates fiction by women from around the world

Bernardine Evaristo, Hilary Mantel and Taffy Brodesser-Akner among 2020 Women's Prize for Fiction longlist. (Jennie Scott, Joel Haynes, Taffy Brodesser-Akner)

British writers Bernardine Evaristo, Hilary Mantel and American journalist Taffy Brodesser-Akner are among the 16 authors longlisted for the 2020 Women's Prize for Fiction.

Evaristo, Mantel and Brodesser-Akner are being recognized for their novels Girl, Woman, Other, The Mirror and the Light and Fleishman is in Trouble, respectively.

The £30,000 (approx. $51,335 Cdn) prize recognizes the year's best novel written by a woman in English.

This year's longlist includes new and well-established writers and a range of genres.

Evaristo's novel Girl, Woman, Other tells the interconnected stories of 12 characters, many of whom are black British women.

Each chapter is dedicated to one character and the set of issues and choices they face in their lives.

The novel was a co-winner, along with The Testaments by Margaret Atwood, for the 2019 Man Booker Prize.

Girl, Woman, Other is the first book by a black British woman to win in the award's more than 50-year history.

The co-winner of the 2019 Man Booker Prize talks to Eleanor Wachtel about her ambitious novel, and about growing up in a large, mixed-race family in London in the 1960s and '70s. 56:09

Mantel's historical novel The Mirror and the Light, the final instalment in her Thomas Cromwell trilogy chronicling the life of the minister in the court of King Henry VIII, will be available in Canada on March 4, 2020.

Brodesser-Akner's debut Fleishman is in Trouble is about a middle-aged New York doctor who just ended his 14-year marriage in a bitter divorce.

He must deal with the fallout and the possibility he never really understood the story of his own marriage.

There are no Canadians on the longlist this year.

American author Ann Patchett is nominated for The Dutch House. Patchett's eighth novel is the story of real estate magnate Cyril Conroy and his children, Danny and Maeve, who find themselves exiled from the family by their stepmother and thrust suddenly into poverty.

Irish author Edna O' Brien is nominated for her 19th novel Girl, which tells the story of a young woman in the countryside of northeast Nigeria who is abducted by Boko Haram.

The other books on the longlist are:

The 2020 longlist was selected by a panel of five judges. It is chaired by Martha Lane Fox and made up of writer and activist Scarlett Curtis, writer and activist, Melanie Eusebe, co-founder of the Black British Business Awards, author and comedian Viv Groskop and international bestselling author Paula Hawkins.

The shortlist of six novels will be revealed on April 22, 2020, followed by the announcement of the winner on June 3, 2020.

American novelist Tayari Jones won the 2019 award for An American Marriage. Other past winners include Kamila Shamsie, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Zadie Smith.

Canadians who have won the award include Toronto's Anne Michaels (for her 1996 novel Fugitive Piecesand Winnipeg's Carol Shields (for her 1997 novel Larry's Party).

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