Monday 10 December 2018

Arundhati Roy and British newcomer in running for Women’s Prize For Fiction

Roy’s second novel The Ministry Of Utmost Happiness – her first in 20 years – is on the longlist for the £30,000 prize.

Elmet by Fiona Mozley (Women's Prize For Fiction)
Elmet by Fiona Mozley (Women's Prize For Fiction)

By Sherna Noah, Press Association Senior Entertainment Correspondent

Heavyweight Arundhati Roy’s latest novel and a debut which began life on a mobile phone have been longlisted for the Women’s Prize For Fiction.

Roy’s second novel The Ministry Of Utmost Happiness – the Indian author’s first in 20 years – is in the running for the £30,000 prize.

British writer Fiona Mozley, who began writing her first novel, Elmet, set in the copses of Yorkshire, on a train from York, is also in the running.

Mozley, who grew up in York, was previously shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, which Roy was longlisted for.

This year, British authors make up half of the longlist, with other writers, including Imogen Hermes Gowar, in the running for her debut novel The Mermaid And Mrs Hancock.

She began to write fiction while working in museums, inspired by the artefacts around her.

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The Ministry of Utmost Happiness by Arundhati Roy (Women's Prize For Fiction)

Chair of the judges Sarah Sands, editor of Radio 4’s Today programme, said: “What is striking about the list, apart from the wealth of talent, is that women writers refuse to be pigeon-holed.

“We have searing social realism, adventure, comedy, poetic truths, ingenious plots and unforgettable characters. Women of the world are a literary force to be reckoned with.”

The prize, now in its 23rd year, is awarded for the best full-length novel written by a woman and published in the UK between April 1 2017 and March 31 2018.

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The prize will be awarded on June 6 at an awards ceremony in central London.

The Longlist:

H(A)PPY, Nicola Barker
The Idiot, Elif Batuman
Three Things About Elsie, Joanna Cannon
Miss Burma, Charmaine Craig
Manhattan Beach, Jennifer Egan
The Mermaid And Mrs Hancock, Imogen Hermes Gowar
Sight, Jessie Greengrass
Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine, Gail Honeyman
When I Hit You: Or, A Portrait Of The Writer As A Young Wife, Meena Kandasamy
Elmet, Fiona Mozley
The Ministry Of Utmost Happiness, Arundhati Roy
See What I Have Done, Sarah Schmidt
A Boy In Winter, Rachel Seiffert
Home Fire, Kamila Shamsie
The Trick To Time, Kit de Waal
Sing, Unburied, Sing, Jesmyn Ward

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