Pat Barker, Oyinkan Braithwaite, Anna Burns, Tayari Jones shortlisted for 2019 Women's Prize for Fiction

Six books have been named to the 2019 shortlist of the Women's Prize, an annual £30,000 (approx. $52,181 Cdn) given to the year's best novel written by a woman in English.
(From left): Pat Barker, Oyinkan Braithwaite, Anna Burns and Tayari Jones are among the novelists shortlisted for the Women's Prize for Fiction in 2019. (Penguin Random House, Studio 24, Getty Images, Nina Subin)

Northern Irish writer Anna Burns's 2018 Man Booker Prize-winning novel Milkman, American author Oyinkan Braithwaite's debut novel My Sister, The Serial Killer, American Tayari Jones's critically acclaimed An American Marriage and British author Pat Barker's Trojan War epic The Silence of the Girls are among the six books on the Women's Prize for Fiction 2019 shortlist.

The Women's Prize, previously known as the Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction and Orange Prize for Fiction, annually awards £30,000 (approx. $52,181 Cdn) to the year's best novel written by a woman in English.

There were no Canadians on the longlist this year.

The complete shortlist includes:

​The winner will be announced on June 5.

The judges this year include history professor Kate Williams, journalist Arifa Akbar, columnist Dolly Alderton, psychotherapist and social advocate Leyla Hussein and entrepreneur Sarah Wood.

Six books comprise the Women's Prize 2019 shortlist. (Women's Prize for Fiction)

Burns's Milkman follows a narrator known only as "middle sister" whose small town's conservative gaze turns against her when an older man pursues her, despite her attempts to avoid him. 

Jones's novel An American Marriage tells the story of Celestial and Roy, a young couple whose lives are torn apart when Roy, a black man, is incarcerated for a crime he did not commit.

Barker's The Silence of the Girls is a retelling of The Iliad, imagining the Trojan War through the eyes of 15-year-old Briseis, a queen who becomes Achilles's captured slave and who is largely silent in Homer's epic poem.

Nigerian writer Oyinkan Braithwaite is nominated for her break-out debut My Sister, The Serial Killer, a darkly comic novel about a woman who cleans up after her younger sister's murderous tendencies.

British author Diana Evans is nominated for her third novel Ordinary People, telling the story of two couples heading towards a life-changing crossroads in London.

American novelist Madeline Miller, who previously won the Orange Prize in 2012 for The Song of Achilles, is nominated this year for another ancient Greek-inspired novel, Circe. This second novel tells the story of a powerful witch, the daughter of titans, who finds herself up against Zeus and other Olympians.

The 2018 winner was Karachi-born English novelist Kamila Shamsie for the novel Home Fire.

Other previous winners include Canadians Anne Michaels and Carol Shields.


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