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Baileys Women

2017 Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction shortlist revealed

7 April 2017

The 2017 Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction shortlist has been revealed which includes a previous winner and a debut novelist.

Tessa Ross, 2017 Chair of Judges said: "It has been a great privilege to Chair the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction in a year which has proved exceptional for writing of both quality and originality...It was therefore quite a challenge to whittle this fantastic longlist of 16 books down to only six… These were the six novels that stayed with all of us well beyond the final page.” 

The shortlisted books are as follows:

Stay With Me by Ayo`bámi Adébáyo` (Debut novel) 

Yejide is hoping for a miracle, for a child. It is all her husband and family wants and she has tried everything from arduous pilgrimages to appeals to God. But when her relatives insist upon a different choice, it is too much for Yejide to bear. It will lead to jealousy, betrayal and despair. 

The Power by Naomi Alderman

Suddenly - tomorrow or the day after - girls find that by a flick of their fingers they can inflict agonizing pain and even death. With this single twist, we look at the world in an entirely new light. What if the power were in women's hands?

The Dark Circle by Linda Grant ( in the library shortly - previous winner)

Tells the story of two Jewish twins from the East End of London in a TB sanatorium in Kent just after the Second World War. 

The Sport of Kings by C.E. Morgan 

Hellsmouth is an indomitable thoroughbred filly that runs for the glory of the Forge family, one of Kentucky's oldest and powerful dynasties headed by patriarch Henry. But when Allmon Shaughnessy, an ambitious young black man comes to work on his farm, the violence of the Forges' history and the exigencies of appetite are brought starkly into view. 

First Love by Gwendoline Riley (in the library shortly) 

Neve is a writer in her mid-thirties married to an older man, Edwyn. Although they are in place of relative peace, their past battles have left scars. Neve recalls the decisions that led to her marriage  - from her bullying father and self-involved mother - to a musician who played her, and a series of lonely flights from place to place. 

Do Not Say We Have Nothing by Madeleine Thien ( in the library shortly)

In Canada in 1990, ten-year-old Marie and her mother invite a guest into their home: a young woman who has fled China in the aftermath of the Tiananment Square protests. Her name is Ai-Ming. As her relationship with Marie deepens, Ai-Ming tells the story of her family in revolutionary China, from the crowded teahouses in the first days of Chairman Mao's ascent to the Shanghai Conservatory in the 1960s and the events leading to the Beijing demonstration of 1989.

You can listen to readings from the shortlisted books that took place recently in Waterstones Tottenham Court Road book bar - 

The winner of the £30,000 prize will be announced at an awards ceremony at the Royal Festival Hall on 7 June 2017.


Nicole Russell