Source : Times of India
South Asian authors Meena Kandassamy and Kamila Shamsie have made it to the 2018 Women’s Prize for Fiction shortlist for their internationally acclaimed novels When I Hit You andHome Fire respectively.
Founded in 1996, Women’s Prize for Fiction was known as the Baileys Women’s Prize till last year. This annual award honours one novel that shows “excellence, originality and accessibility in writing by women throughout the world.”
The shortlist contains:
The Idiot by Elif Batuman
The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock by Imogen Hermes Gowar
Sight by Jessie Greengrass
When I Hit You: Or, A Portrait of the Writer as a Young Wife by Meena Kandasamy
Home Fire by Kamila Shamsie
Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward
Three of the contenders are debut authors and many of the shortlisted are women of colour. The diversity fairly represented on the shortlist is a good sign for where the publishing industry is going.
“The shortlist was chosen without fear or favour. We lost some big names, with regret, but narrowed down the list to the books which spoke most directly and truthfully to the judges,” said Sarah Sands, Chair of Judges. “The themes of the shortlist have both contemporary and lasting resonance encompassing the birth of the internet, race, sexual violence, grief, oh and mermaids. Some of the authors are young, half by Brits and all are blazingly good and brave writers,” she added.
The winner gets a £30,000 cash prize and along with a seven-and-a-half-inch bronze statuette called a Bessie. The winner and other five shortlisted authors also receive a bespoke leather-bound edition of their novel created by Christine Cleaton.