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The Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction


Baileys Women's PrizeThe Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction was originally launched in 1995 as the Orange Prize for Fiction by a group of publishers, booksellers, journalists and agents, who felt that some of the biggest literary prizes often appeared to overlook wonderful writing by women. Since then, the Prize has established itself as a highlight of the literary calendar, with the longlists, shortlists and winning books eagerly anticipated by male and female readers alike. The prize is awarded to the woman who, in the opinion of the judges (all female), has written the best, eligible full-length novel in English.

The winner receives £30,000 and a bronze sculpture known as a 'Bessie', designed by Grizel Niven, sister of actor David Niven.

In 2005, the Orange of Oranges, a public vote on the best winner from the first ten years, was won, as is usual in such polls, by the most recent winner, in this case Andrea Levy's Small Island. Levy's book also completed a unique double in winning two of the three biggest UK literary prizes, the Orange Prize and the Whitbread (since rebranded the Costa) Book of the Year. In 2015, Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie was chosen by the Chairs from 2006-2015 as the Best of the Best for the award's second decade.

The Orange Prize for New Writers was launched in 2005, looking for works of excellence, originality and accessibility, as well as promise by debut female authors, but was discontinued after 2010.

In 2011, Foyles was especially proud when employee Anne Peile's first novel, Repeat It Today with Tears, reached the longlist.

Many commentators, both male and female, have attacked the prize's premise of a women-only entrance requirement, but many others have defended it just as vigorously, on the grounds that the literary establishment remains markedly skewed towards male writers. In spite of - or perhaps because of - this perennial debate, the award continues to grow in popularity, with the readings by the shortlisted authors at the Royal Festival Hall a night or two before the ceremony a sell-out event.

Orange ended their sponsorship in 2012. The 2013 award, known simply as the Women's Prize for Fiction, was sponsored privately. In June 2013, a three-year sponsorship deal with Baileys was announced, to begin in 2014.

'It's bold, brilliant and beautiful, a book that will delight every reader concerned that the novel had nowhere new to go and reinforce every prejudice of those who dismiss literary fiction as pretentious.' The 2015 winner, announced on 3rd June, was Ali Smith for How to be Both. Her charming acceptance speech began with the words, 'Are you sure?'

The 2016 panel is chaired by lawyer and businesswoman Margaret Mountford who was previously one of Lord Sugar’s advisors on The Apprentice. Joining her are writer and journalist, Laurie Penny; award-winning author Elif Shafak, singer-songwriter and author Tracey Thorn and broadcast journalist, Naga Munchetty. The winner, which was announced on 8th June, was Lisa McInerney for her debut The Glorious Heresies.

Read Tracey Thorn's blog on her experience of judging the 2016 prize.

 

2016 Shortlist

Ruby
(Paperback)
Cynthia Bond
 
PICKED BY OPRAH FOR HER BOOK CLUB 2.0 A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING DEBUT Voodoo, faith and racism converge in an East Texas town, where a man is forced...
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The Green Road
(Paperback)
Anne Enright
 
Hanna, Dan, Constance and Emmet return to the west coast of Ireland for a final family Christmas in the home their mother is about to sell. As the feast turns...
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The Glorious Heresies
(Paperback)
Lisa McInerney
 
A big, bold debut from a true new Irish talent.
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£8.99
 
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A Little Life
(Paperback)
Hanya Yanagihara
 
Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize and for the National Book Award 2015 A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara is an immensely powerful and heartbreaking novel of...
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2016 longlist

A God in Ruins
(Paperback)
Kate Atkinson
 
A title that relates the life of Teddy Todd - would-be poet, heroic World War II bomber pilot, husband, father, and grandfather - as he navigates the perils and progress...
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Rush Oh!
(Hardback)
Shirley Barrett
 
Virago's lead debut for 2016, Rush Oh! is a deeply moving and captivating novel that will capture readers' imaginations and launch a brilliant new voice in fiction.
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Ruby
(Paperback)
Cynthia Bond
 
PICKED BY OPRAH FOR HER BOOK CLUB 2.0 A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING DEBUT Voodoo, faith and racism converge in an East Texas town, where a man is forced...
Delivery:
 
£7.99
 
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£7.99
 
The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet
(Paperback)
Becky Chambers
 
The beloved debut novel 'that will restore your faith in science fiction (specifically) and humanity (in general).' (Tor.com)
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£7.99
 
A Dictionary of Mutual Understanding
(Hardback)
Jackie Copleton
 
Amaterasu Takahashi has spent her life grieving for her daughter Yuko and grandson Hideo, who were victims of the atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki in 1945. Now a widow living...
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Whispers Through a Megaphone
(Hardback)
Rachel Elliott
Sometimes the world can seem too much for just one person
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The Green Road
(Paperback)
Anne Enright
 
Hanna, Dan, Constance and Emmet return to the west coast of Ireland for a final family Christmas in the home their mother is about to sell. As the feast turns...
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The Book of Memory
(Hardback)
Petina Gappah
 
Memory is an albino woman languishing in Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison in Harare, Zimbabwe, where she has been convicted of murder. As part of her appeal her lawyer insists that...
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Stores - out of stock

Gorsky
(Paperback)
Vesna Goldsworthy
 
London dances to the tune of Gorsky's billions. The most enigmatic of oligarchs, Gorsky desires and gets the best of everything and now he has his sights set on Natalia...
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The Anatomist's Dream
(Hardback)
Clio Gray
 
LONGLISTED FOR THE BAILEYS WOMEN'S PRIZE FOR FICTION 2016 Philbert is born with a disfiguring inflammation of the skull. Abandoned and with only a pet pig for company, he eventually...
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£18.99
 
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At Hawthorn Time
(Paperback)
Melissa Harrison
 
SHORTLISTED FOR THE COSTA NOVEL AWARD 2015 LONGLISTED FOR THE BAILEYS WOMEN'S PRIZE FOR FICTION 2016 Four-thirty on a May morning: the black fading to blue, dawn...
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Pleasantville
(Hardback)
Attica Locke
 
LONGLISTED FOR THE BAILEYS PRIZE 2016 Crusading lawyer Jay Porter, the hero of Attica Locke's Orange-shortlisted BLACK WATER RISING returns in Pleasantville It's ...
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The Glorious Heresies
(Paperback)
Lisa McInerney
 
A big, bold debut from a true new Irish talent.
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Girl at War
(Hardback)
Sara Novic
 
The lead debut title for Little, Brown/Abacus in 2015, for fans of Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
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The House at the Edge of the World
(Hardback)
Julia Rochester
 
When I was eighteen, my father fell off a cliff. It was a stupid way to die. John Venton's drunken fall from a Devon cliff leaves his family with an...
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My Name is Lucy Barton
(Hardback)
Elizabeth Strout
 
Lucy Barton is recovering slowly from what should have been a simple operation. Her mother, to whom she hasn't spoken for many years, comes to see her. Her unexpected visit...
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£12.99
 
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A Little Life
(Paperback)
Hanya Yanagihara
 
Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize and for the National Book Award 2015 A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara is an immensely powerful and heartbreaking novel of...
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Previous winners

2015 How to be Both by Ali Smith

2014 A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing by Eimear McBride

2013 May We Be Forgiven by AM Homes

2012 The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

2011 The Tiger's Wife by Téa Obreht

2010 The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver

2009 Home by Marilynne Robinson

2008 The Road Home by Rose Tremain

2007 Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

2006 On Beauty by Zadie Smith

2005 We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver

2004 Small Island by Andrea Levy

2003 Property by Valerie Martin

2002 Bel Canto by Ann Patchett

2001 The Idea of Perfection by Kate Grenville

2000 When I Lived in Modern Times by Linda Grant

1999 A Crime in the Neighborhood by Suzanne Berne

1998 Larry's Party by Carol Shields

1997 Fugitive Pieces by Anne Michaels

1996 A Spell of Winter by Helen Dunmore

 

Winners of the Orange Prize for New Writers

2010 The Boy Next Door by Irene Sabatini

2009 An Equal Stillness by Francesca Kay

2008 Inglorious by Joanna Kavenna

2007 The Lizard Cage by Karen Connelly

2006 Disobedience by Naomi Alderman

2005 26a by Diana Evans

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