Looking for an exciting new novel to get stuck into this weekend? We've got six! The Bailey's Women's Prize for Fiction celebrates the best female authors of the year and their incredible works and the just-announced 2016 shortlist doesn't disappoint. From quirky love stories to page-turning thrillers, this year's line-up has something for everyone.
Set up in 1996 to promote international fiction by women, all female authors writing in English are eligible for the award. The Bailey's Women's Prize for Fiction is the UK’s only annual book prize for fiction written by women. This year's shortlist of female authors features three debut novels and one previously shortlisted writer. Winner of the prestigious award wins the title of the best novel of the year written by a woman plus a cheque for £30,000. Not too shabby!
Previous winners include Eimear McBride for A Girl is a Half-formed Thing (2014), Zadie Smith’s On Beauty (2006), and Lionel Shriver’s We Need to Talk About Kevin (2005). This 2016 award ceremony will be held at the Royal festival Hall on 8th June.
Who will win top prize? Only time will tell! Until then, take a look at this year's shortlist and get ready to update your Kindle...
Ruby by Cynthia Bond
This debut novel comes from American author Cynthia Bond, who has been teaching writing to the homeless in LA for more than 15 years. Her magical book tells the story of Ephram Jennings, a man who has never forgotten Ruby, the beautiful girl from his youth. Ruby left the violence of her small Texas hometown for dazzling 1950s New York, only to be forced to return three years later. Back home, will Ruby be able to escape one more time? And when Ephram is forced to choose between his sister and the woman he has always loved, will he pick Ruby? A beautiful and devastating read.
The Green Road by Anne Enright
Set in a small town on Ireland's Atlantic coast, this moving novel spans over thirty years and tells the story of the Madigan family, exploring some of the complex emotions and personalities of the people in it. When mother Rosalyn announces that she is selling the family home, her four children gather from all corners of the world for one last Christmas, where they must confront one another – and themselves.
The Glorious Heresies by Lisa McInerney
Dark and funny, The Glorious Heresies tells the story of how one messy murder affects the lives of five outsiders living in Cork, Ireland. There's Ryan, a 15-year-old drug dealer, Georgie, a prostitute, Maureen, the accidental murderer, and Jimmy, the son that she was forced to give up. This is Irish author Lisa McInerney’s debut novel and a brilliant one at that.
The Portable Veblen by Elizabeth McKenzie
A modern love story about a woman who speaks to squirrels and her neuroscientist fiancé. The books explores these two quirky characters, who have plenty of differences and perhaps shouldn’t work on paper, in a beautifully weird and wonderful way.
The Improbability of Love by Hannah Rothschild
Another debut novel, The Improbability of Love tells the story of unlucky-in-love Annie McDee, who accidentally discovers an old painting which turns out to be a lost 18th century masterpiece. As auctioneers, dealers, Russian oligarchs and more scramble to get their hands on the painting, Annie uncovers secrets of European history and quite possible, the ability to love again. Witty and totally engaging.
A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara
When four university classmates from Massachusetts first move to New York, they are all broke and seemingly lost with only their friendship to keep them going. But as the years go by, their relationships change, darkened by success, addiction and pride. However, they eventually realize that the biggest challenge of all is facing up to one of the group – Jude – and helping him overcome his demons. A real page-turner.
Pick up your next page-turner from Asda book department.