The 'fascinating' shortlist for the GBP 30,000 Orange Prize for Fiction has been revealed.
Rosie Alison's The Very Thought of You, The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver and Attica Locke's Black Water Rising are among the six titles competing for the women-only award.
Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel, Lorrie Moore's A Gate at the Stairs and The White Woman on a Green Bicycle by Monique Roffey are the remaining shortlisted books.
The award will be chaired by author and TV producer Daisy Goodwin. Writer and broadcaster Baroness Julia Neuberger, novelist and critic Michele Roberts, journalist Miranda Sawyer and British Vogue editor Alexandra Shulman will sit on the panel.
Jonathan Ruppin of Foyles commented: 'This is a fascinating shortlist, with a real variety of themes and writing styles. I'm sure the judges' final decision will be the result of a very lively debate.'
He also applauded the literary award's 'commendable job' of bringing the works of female authors to a wider readership.
Last year, Pulitzer-winning novelist Marilynne Robinson scooped the Orange Prize for Fiction with Home. The winner of this year's award will be named on June 9th.