The Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction

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The Baileys Women's Prize For Fiction

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The Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction

Lisa McInerney's The Glorious Heresies


We’re pleased to confirm that Irish author Lisa McInerney has won the 2016 Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction with her incandescent debut, The Glorious Heresies.



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‘This year, the Prize comes of age. Since 1996, we have honoured novelists of exceptional talent, have promoted and celebrated fiction from all over the world, have brought together readers and writers, and supported literacy, research and reading initiatives. Now, as we celebrate the work of Lisa McInerney - our 21st winner - the list of those shortlisted and winning novels, past and present, stands as a tribute to women's talent, ingenuity, originality and imagination.’

Kate Mosse

Novelist and co-founder of the Bailey’s Women’s Prize for Fiction


McInerney first found a hugely receptive audience with her award-winning blog Arse End of Ireland, which for several years brought a sense of much-needed earthy realism to the hyped glamour of the Celtic Tiger.

These same uncompromising sensibilities have found their way into the pages of The Glorious Heresies, a frank and sometimes brutal descent into Cork’s post-crash underclass. Enter Ryan, Tony, Georgie, Maureen and her psychotic gang-boss son Jimmy, five misfits who are about to be tragically united by a single unintentional murder. With virtuoso verve, McInerney, as The Guardian put it, ‘…has talent to burn… an irrepressible volley of unrehearsed words from a brand new throat.’


“After a passionate discussion around a very strong shortlist, we chose Lisa McInerney’s The Glorious Heresies, a superbly original, compassionate novel that delivers insights into the very darkest of lives through humour and skilful storytelling. A fresh new voice and a wonderful winner.”

Margaret Mountford - Chair of Judges


We at Waterstones warmly congratulate Lisa on her win and welcome a powerful new presence on the fiction stage.

The Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction 2016 Shortlist

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 (Paperback)


Cynthia Bond

Full of life, exquisitely written, and suffused with the pastoral beauty of the rural South, Ruby is a transcendent novel of passion and courage.

This wondrous page-turner rushes through the red dust and gossip of Main Street, to the pit fire where men swill bootleg outside Bloom's Juke, to Celia Jennings's kitchen, where a cake is being made, yolk by yolk, that Ephram will use to try to begin again with Ruby.

Utterly transfixing, with unforgettable characters, riveting suspense, and breathtaking, luminous prose, Ruby offers an unflinching portrait of man's dark acts and the promise of the redemptive power of love...


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The Green Road (Paperback)

The Green Road

Anne Enright

A darkly glinting novel set on Ireland's Atlantic coast, The Green Road is a story of fracture and family, selfishness and compassion - a book about the gaps in the human heart and how we learn to fill them.

The children of Rosaleen Madigan leave the west of Ireland for lives they never could have imagined in Dublin, New York and various third-world towns. In her early old age their difficult, wonderful mother announces that she's decided to sell the house and divide the proceeds. Her adult children come back for a last Christmas, with the feeling that their childhoods are being erased, their personal history bought and sold.


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The Glorious Heresies

Lisa McInerney

We all do stupid things when we're kids.

Ryan Cusack's grown up faster than most - being the oldest of six with a dead mum and an alcoholic dad will do that for you. And nobody says Ryan's stupid. Not even behind his back. It's the people around him who are the problem.

The gangland boss using his dad as a 'cleaner'. The neighbour who says she's trying to help but maybe wants something more than that. The prostitute searching for the man she never knew she'd miss until he disappeared without trace one night ...

The only one on Ryan's side is his girlfriend Karine. If he blows that, he's all alone. But the truth is, you don't know your own strength till you need it.


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The Portable Veblen (Hardback)

The Portable Veblen

Elizabeth McKenzie

A riotously funny and deeply insightful adventure through capitalism, the medical industry, family, love, war and wedding-planning - from an electrically entertaining new voice.

Can squirrels speak? Do snails scream? Will a young couple, newly engaged, make it to their wedding day? Will their dysfunctional families ruin everything? Will they be undone by the advances of a very sexy, very unscrupulous heiress to a pharmaceuticals corporation? Is getting married even a remotely reasonable idea in the twenty-first century?

And what in the world is a 'Veblen' anyway?


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The Improbability of Love (Paperback)

The Improbability of Love

Hannah Rothschild

When lovelorn Annie McDee stumbles across a dirty painting in a junk shop while looking for a present for an unsuitable man, she has no idea what she has discovered.

Soon she finds herself drawn unwillingly into the tumultuous London art world, populated by exiled Russian oligarchs, avaricious Sheikas, desperate auctioneers and unscrupulous dealers, all scheming to get their hands on her painting - a lost eighteenth-century masterpiece called 'The Improbability of Love'.

Delving into the painting's past, Annie will uncover not just an illustrious list of former owners, but some of the darkest secrets of European history - and in doing so she might just learn to open up to the possibility of falling in love again.


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A Little Life (Paperback)

A Little Life

Hanya Yanagihara

The 700-or-so pages of A Little Life that took Japanese-American author Hanya Yanagihara 18 months to write, open in a somewhat jaunty and recognisable manner: introducing four bright young things as they graduate college, their sights trained on big New York City careers.

Christian Lorentzen, in the London Review of Books, wrote that the characters "seem like stereotypical middle-class strivers plucked out of 1950s cinema", and indeed they slip into these careers somewhat easily, becoming a successful actor, painter, architect and lawyer.

But soon the novel darkens, it jars and then it appals, becoming less about the four young men and more particularly about one of them: the one who won’t tell of why he limps, why he doesn’t have relationships, why he cuts. The one who won’t tell of his ugly childhood and why he fears he will never escape its horrors.


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The Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction 2016 Longlist

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."

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Previous Prize Winners