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Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction
The Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction stands as one of the most significant literary prizes in the United Kingdom and is unique in considering only writing by female authors.
Celebrations at the first ever Baileys Prize Book Bar
On Monday 16th May, the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction will open its first-ever pop-up Baileys Prize Book Bar at Waterstones’ new Tottenham Court Road bookshop to celebrate the best writing by women and the 2016 Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction shortlist.
The collaboration will see the basement bar transformed into an inspiring oasis which combines our love of reading with the pleasure of a Baileys over five action-packed days.
Tickets for all of the events are only £6 per person from our Ticketscript app and the ticket price includes a delicious Baileys Flat White martini or a coffee and Baileys absolutely free. Over 18s only.
Monday 16th May: An evening with Ali Smith and Kate Mosse presented by the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction
Wednesday 18th May: Readings from the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction 2016 Shortlist
Wednesday 18th May: Baileys Cocktail Masterclass
Thursday 19th May: An evening with inspiring women in business
Friday 20th May: Readings from the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction 2016 Shortlist
Friday 20th May: Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction presents an evening with Eimear McBride with music and cocktails
The Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction 2016 Shortlist Announced
Following on from Ali Smith claiming victory in 2015 for the dazzling How to Be Both, Waterstones is proud to continue our long association with the Prize and it’s our pleasure to unveil the shortlist for 2016.
Ruby by Cynthia Bond
Compared by Oprah Winfrey for her all-conquering Book Club to the writings of Toni Morrison and Zora Neale Hurston, Cynthia Bond’s debut Ruby is a harrowing but electrifying portrait of one woman’s struggle to escape a legacy of abuse and systemic racism. Initially desperate to find her mother in the brilliant lure of 1950s New York, Ruby Bell finds herself ultimately returning to the rural South to seeming mental collapse, but for the undying love from a man who has long held her in his heart.
‘It may be most apt to compare Bond to Gabriel García Márquez… Luminous.’ – The GuardianBuy the book
Anne Enright's The Green Road
In the pages of The Green Road, Man Booker-winning Anne Enright brings her considerable powers to bear on an audaciously dextrous dissection of the Madigan family, rooted by their County Clare background but wildly disparate in all else. Presided over by the uncompromising and self-centred Rosaleen, deftly-drawn slices of their respective lives lead to a climactic, Christmas-set homecoming where subtle familial battle-lines have long been drawn.
‘She is a rich, lyrical prose writer… beautifully searching and sad, shot through with difficult wisdom and with much tart comedy.’ – The New YorkerBuy the book
Lisa McInerney's The Glorious Heresies
Lisa McInerney’s resolutely uncompromising debut The Glorious Heresies pulls no punches in its depiction of a Cork unpicked by social malaise, gangster violence and the rot of church and state. An unintentional killing sets the stage for a cycle of ever-worsening chaos and sitting at its centre is the psychotic Jimmy Phelan and his long-lost – and now accidentally murderous – mother.
‘…a spectacular debut by Lisa McInerney… a head-spinning, stomach-churning state-of-the-nation novel about a nation falling apart.’ – The TelegraphBuy the book
Elizabeth McKenzie's The Portable Veblen
The Portable Veblen – Elizabeth McKenzie’s second novel – wears its eccentricities on its capable sleeve. Veblen (Norwegian translator, ‘experienced cheerer-upper’ and squirrel enthusiast) is on the cusp of marriage with brilliant neuroscientist Paul, but is their love strong enough to survive the combined seismic pressures of respective dysfunctional families, corporate greed and terminally-stretched morals?
‘A wild ride… rambunctious and sober, hilarious and morbid, [with] strong echoes of Joseph Heller and Kurt Vonnegut.’ - San Francisco ChronicleBuy the book
Hannah Rothschild's The Improbability
Annie McDee, down-at-heel chef, unlucky in life and love, finds herself plunged into a whirlwind of high art, scurrilous intrigue and the possibility of proper, bona fide romance, all after the purchase of an apparently innocuous painting from a tumbledown junk shop. Hannah Rothschild’s assured fictional debut is a nimble, knowing and wise tumble through the contemporary art scene and currently features as our Fiction Book of the Month for April.
‘Both a satire of the art world and a romance … It's mischievous, fun and on the money’ - TatlerBuy the book
A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara's
Hotly-tipped at the time to bag last year’s Man Booker Prize, Hanya Yanagihara’s A Little Life quickly gathered word-of-mouth momentum on release to become one of 2015’s most-discussed novels. What The Guardian described as a ‘human epic’, Yanagihara’s second novel unflinchingly follows the steady decent of the chronically damaged Jude St Francis, aided and abetted by his intimate circle of three friends.
‘In this astonishing novel, Yanagihara achieves what great gay art from Proust to Almodóvar has so often sought: a grandeur of feeling adequate to the “terrifying largeness, the impossibility of the world.”’ – The AtlanticBuy the book
Among the 20 novels longlisted are two by Irish writers, including Anne Enright for The Green Road. The eight British novelists include the always-excellent Kate Atkinson, for A God in Ruins, and British-Serbian Vesna Goldsworthy, whose first novel, Gorsky, has been a Waterstones Book of the Month. Hanya Yanagihara’s long, dark, unexpected hit A Little Life also features.
The panel of judges read over 150 books between them, and chair of judges Margaret Mountford said of the longlist: "We are delighted with the quality, the imaginative scope and the ambition of our chosen books, a longlist which reflects the judges’ interests and tastes. We hope readers will enjoy the variety of outstanding work on offer."
Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction 2016 shortlist readings
Join us at this very special event to hear the Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction shortlisted authors read from and discuss their work on the eve of the 2016 winner announcement. Hosted by 2016 Chair of judges Margaret Mountford.
Date: Tuesday 7th June at 6.30pm
Venue: Cadogan Hall, 5 Sloane Terrace, London SW1X 9DQ
Details of the shortlisted authors appearing at the event will be revealed here on 11th April.
Please note, seating at this event will be unreserved.
For further information about this event, please contact the Waterstones events team on email@example.com.
How to be Both is the 2015 Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction winner
Following a unique dual-narrative, How to be Both differs depending on which edition you buy. In some copies, the story of a teenage girl called George dealing with the death of her mother begins the novel while in others the opening chapter follows Italian renaissance artist, Francesco del Cossa. The plot remains the same across editions but your understanding of the novel changes depending on the character order you're presented with. In lesser hands, the conceit would fall apart under itself but Smith handles the idea beautifully.
"I’m exceptionally pleased to see Smith’s novel recognised by the Baileys," said Chris White, Waterstones Fiction Buyer. "Constantly inventive, hugely original, endlessly rewarding and immensely entertaining, How to Be Both is one of the finest novels to have emerged in years."
The book has already won the 2014 Goldsmiths Prize, the Saltire Literary Book of the Year and the 2014 Costa Novel Award as well as being shortlisted for both the Man Booker and Folio Prizes. This is, by any measure, a strong vote of confidence.
“Ancient and modern meet and speak to each other in this tender, brilliant and witty novel of grief, love, sexuality and shape-shifting identity,” said Shami Chakrabarti, Chair of Judges.
Now in its twentieth year, the Bailey's Women's Prize for Fiction is the only annual book award that solely celebrates fiction written by women.
This year's shortlist was particularly strong. Amongst the selected titles were two of our own Book Club picks, The Bees by Laline Paull and Kamila Shamsie's A God in Every Stone. Also nominated were perennial Waterstones favourites Anne Tyler and Sarah Waters.