Entertainment & Arts

Baileys Women's Prize: Anne Enright makes prize shortlist

Anne Enright Image copyright Baileys Women's Prize
Image caption Anne Enright was shortlisted in 2012

This year's Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction shortlist features one previously shortlisted author, Anne Enright, and three debut writers.

Margaret Mountford, chair of judges, said the final six were chosen after "a long and often passionate debate".

Cynthia Bond, Lisa McInerney and Hannah Rothschild are the debut writers, while Hanya Yanagihara and Elizabeth McKenzie complete the shortlist of six.

The winner of the award - formerly the Orange Prize - will be named on 8 June.

"Our choices reflect a really diverse mix of brilliant writing from new and established authors around the world," Ms Mountford said.

"We hope that everyone will find much to enjoy in them."

The shortlisted books are:

  • Cynthia Bond - Ruby (Two Roads) - American - 1st Novel
  • Anne Enright - The Green Road (Jonathan Cape) - Irish - 6th Novel
  • Lisa McInerney - The Glorious Heresies (John Murray) - Irish - 1st Novel
  • Elizabeth McKenzie - The Portable Veblen (Fourth Estate) - American - 2nd Novel
  • Hannah Rothschild - The Improbability of Love ( Bloomsbury) - British - 1st Novel
  • Hanya Yanagihara - A Little Life (Picador) - American - 2nd Novel

Enright, the first laureate for Irish fiction, was shortlisted in 2012 for The Forgotten Waltz. The Green Road was shortlisted for the 2015's Costa novel award.

Yanagihara's A Little Life was shortlisted for last year's Man Booker Prize.

Rothschild's The Improbability of Love is also shortlisted for this year's Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize.

But among the novels on the 20-strong longlist that didn't make the final cut were Kate Atkinson's Costa novel prize-winning A God in Ruins.

The Baileys shortlist was announced on Monday evening at London's Royal Festival Hall by novelist Kate Mosse, who co-founded the prize in 1996, and the winner will be announced at the same venue on 8 June.

Image copyright Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction
Image caption This year's judges (from left): Tracey Thorn, Naga Munchetty, Margaret Mountford, Laurie Penny and Elif Shafak

"We are very proud of our shortlist, all of the books are written with passion," said author Elif Shafak, one of this year's judges.

"Everyone had an equal chance: debut writers and well established authors. There is an amazing diversity of styles, genres and subjects."

Asked about Kate Atkinson's non-appearance, she told the BBC: "We loved her work very much but the shortlist reflects the choices of all the judges in unison so inevitably the some very good titles do not make it from the longlist to the shortlist."

Shafak said the final six books shared universal themes such as family and dealing with "the traumas and beauties of the past".

The Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction is awarded for the best full-length novel of the year written by a woman and published in the UK.

The winner will receive a cheque for £30,000 and a limited edition bronze known as a Bessie.

Last year's winner was Ali Smith for How to be Both (2015).

A brief look at each novel

Image copyright Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction
Image caption The six books on the 2016 shortlist

Ruby by Cynthia Bond (Two Roads)

Ephram Jennings has never forgotten the beautiful girl with the long braids running through the woods of Liberty, a small town in Texas. For Ruby Bell, Liberty was a place of devastating violence from which she fled to seedy, glamorous 1950s New York.

The Green Road by Anne Enright (Vintage)

When Rosaleen Madigan decides to sell the family house in the west of Ireland, her adult children come back for a last Christmas, with the feeling that their childhoods are being erased.

The Glorious Heresies by Lisa McInerney (John Murray)

One messy murder affects the lives of five misfits who exist on the fringes of Ireland's post-crash society.

The Portable Veblen by Elizabeth McKenzie (Fourth Estate)

Meet Veblen: a passionate defender of the anti-consumerist views of her name-sake, the iconoclastic economist Thorstein Veblen. She's an experienced cheerer-upper (mainly of her narcissistic, hypochondriac, controlling mother), an amateur translator of Norwegian, and a firm believer in the distinct possibility that the plucky grey squirrel following her around can understand more than it lets on.

The Improbability of Love by Hannah Rothschild (Bloomsbury)

The heroine finds herself plunged into the London art world where skulduggery and big characters abound.

A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara (Picador)

The story of four college friends who have moved to New York seeking fame and fortune. At the centre of the tale is the enigmatic Jude, an orphan with a painful past.

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