Women's Prize for Fiction

Launched in 1996, the prize celebrates excellence, originality and accessibility in women's writing from throughout the world. The winner will receive a cheque for £30,000 and a limited edition bronze figurine known as a 'Bessie', created and donated by the artist Grizel Niven. Both are anonymously endowed.

 

2015 selection

How to be both: A novel

Women's Prize for Fiction 2015, Costa Book Award for Best Novel 2014, Goldsmiths Prize 2014, Saltire Award for Scottish Literary Book of the Year 2014

by Ali Smith

SHORT-LISTED FOR THE MAN BOOKER PRIZE

Passionate, compassionate, vitally inventive and scrupulously playful, Ali Smith’s novels are like nothing else. A true original, she is a one-of-a-kind literary sensation....


2014 selection

A Girl Is a Half-formed Thing: A Novel

Women's Prize for Fiction 2014, Desmond Elliott Prize 2014, Kerry Group Irish Fiction Award 2014, Goldsmiths Prize 2013, Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize 2013

by Eimear McBRide

The dazzling, fearless debut novel that the New York Times hails as “a future classic”

In scathing, furious, unforgettable prose, Eimear McBride tells the story of a young girl’s devastating adolescence...


2013 selection

May We Be Forgiven: A Novel

Women's Prize for Fiction 2013

by A. M. Homes

Winner of the 2013 Women's Prize for Fiction—A darkly comic novel of twenty-first-century domestic life and the possibility of personal transformation

Harold Silver has spent a lifetime watching his younger...


2012 selection

The Song of Achilles

Women's Prize for Fiction 2012

by Madeline Miller

“At once a scholar’s homage to The Iliad and startlingly original work of art by an incredibly talented new novelist….A book I could not put down.”

—Ann Patchett

“Mary Renault lives again!” declares...


2011 selection

The Tiger's Wife: A Novel

Women's Prize for Fiction 2011

by Tea Obreht

NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FINALIST • NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

In a Balkan country mending from war, Natalia, a young doctor, is compelled to unravel the mysterious circumstances surrounding her beloved grandfather’s...


2010 selection

The Lacuna

Women's Prize for Fiction 2010

by Barbara Kingsolver

In The Lacuna, her first novel in nine years, Barbara Kingsolver, the acclaimed New York Times bestselling author of The Poisonwood Bible and Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life, tells the story...


2009 selection

Home

Women's Prize for Fiction 2009, Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Fiction 2008

by Marilynne Robinson

Hundreds of thousands were enthralled by the luminous voice of John Ames in Gilead, Marilynne Robinson's Pulitzer Prize–winning novel. Home is an entirely independent, deeply affecting novel that takes place...


2008 selection

The Road Home: A Novel

Women's Prize for Fiction 2008

by Rose Tremain

In the wake of factory closings and his beloved wife's death, Lev is on his way from Eastern Europe to London, seeking work to support his mother and his little daughter. After a spell of homelessness, he finds...


2007 selection

Half of a Yellow Sun

Women's Prize for Fiction 2007

by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

With effortless grace, celebrated author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie illuminates a seminal moment in modern African history: Biafra's impassioned struggle to establish an independent republic in southeastern Nigeria...


2006 selection

On Beauty

Women's Prize for Fiction 2006

by Zadie Smith

Howard Belsey, a Rembrandt scholar who doesn't like Rembrandt, is an Englishman abroad and a long-suffering professor at Wellington, a liberal New England arts college. He has been married for thirty years to...


2005 selection

We Need to Talk About Kevin

Women's Prize for Fiction 2005

by Lionel Shriver

That neither nature nor nurture bears exclusive responsibility for a child's character is self-evident. But generalizations about genes are likely to provide cold comfort if it's your own child who just opened...


2004 selection

Small Island

Women's Prize for Fiction 2004, Whitbread Book Award for Novel 2004

by Andrea Levy

Winner of the 2004 Orange Prize for Fiction

A Picador Original Trade Paperback

Hortense Joseph arrives in London from Jamaica in 1948 with her life in her suitcase, her heart broken, her resolve intact. Her husband,...


2003 selection

Property

Women's Prize for Fiction 2003

by Valerie Martin

Valerie Martin’s Property delivers an eerily mesmerizing inquiry into slavery’s venomous effects on the owner and the owned. The year is 1828, the setting a Louisiana sugar plantation where Manon Gaudet,...


2002 selection

Bel Canto

PEN/Faulkner Award 2002, Women's Prize for Fiction 2002

by Ann Patchett

“Blissfully Romantic….A strange, terrific, spellcasting story.” — San Francisco Chronicle

Bel Canto…should be on the list of every literate music lover. The story is riveting, the participants breathe...


2001 selection

The Idea of Perfection

Women's Prize for Fiction 2001

by Kate Grenville

Harley Savage is a plain woman, a part-time museum curator and quilting expert with three failed marriages and a heart condition. Douglas Cheeseman is a shy, gawky engineer with jug-handle ears, one marriage...


2000 selection

When I Lived in Modern Times

Women's Prize for Fiction 2000

by Linda Grant

Winner of the Orange Prize for Fiction

In the spring of 1946, Evelyn Sert stands on the deck of a ship bound for Palestine. For the twenty-year-old from London, it is a time of adventure and change when all things...


1999 selection

A Crime in the Neighborhood

Women's Prize for Fiction 1999

by Suzanne Berne

A New York Times Notable Book. Set in the Washington, D.C., suburbs during the summer of the Watergate break-ins, Berne's assured, skillful first novel is about what can happen when a child's accusation is...


1998 selection

Larry's Party

Women's Prize for Fiction 1998

by Carol Shields

The San Diego Tribune called The Stone Diaries a "universal study of what makes women tick." With Larry's Party Carol Shields has done the same for men. Larry Weller, born in 1950, is an ordinary guy made extraordinary...


1997 selection

Fugitive Pieces: A Novel

Women's Prize for Fiction 1997, Trillium Book Award 1997

by Anne Michaels

A New York Times Notable Book of the Year

Winner of the Lannan Literary Fiction Award

Winner of the Guardian Fiction Award

 

In 1940 a boy bursts from the mud of a war-torn Polish city, where he has buried...