Announced: The 2022 Women’s Prize For Fiction Longlist

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Image credit: Women's Prize for Fiction.

The longlist for the Women’s Prize for Fiction 2022 has been announced this week – and it contains five debut authors. 

The Women’s Prize for Fiction is one of the UK’s most prestigious literary prizes. Each year it is awarded to a female author of any nationality for the best full-length novel written in English and published in the preceding year. It was established in 1996 after the Booker Prize failed to nominate any women writers for five years. 

This year the judging panel whittled 175 submissions down to the 16 strongest, leaving a diverse mix of magical realism, historical fiction, and dystopia in the running. 

Five debut writers have also made this list: Miranda Cowley Heller, Dawnie Walton, Meg Mason, Kirsty Capes, and Violet Kupersmith. They are up against seasoned writers such as previously shortlisted Charlotte Mendelson and last year’s Pulitzer Prize winner, Louise Erdrich. 

You can view the full list here.

Some of the longlisted books have already caused a storm online. Dawnie Walton’s The Final Revival of Opal & Nev has been called a “dazzling triumph” by The Washington Post, and The Guardian have noted that Ruth Ozeki’s The Book of Form & Emptiness is “a Zen chorus”, and praises her “calm, dry, methodical good humour and wit, her love affairs with linguistics and jazz and the absurd, her cautious optimism, her gentle parodies”. 

The judging panel – made up of Chairwoman Mary Ann Seighart, Anita Sethi, Dorothy Koomson, Lorraine Candy, and Pandora Sykes – will narrow the longlist down to a final six, due to be announced on 27 April before the winner is crowned on 27 June. The recipient will be awarded a spectacular £30,000 as well as a limited-edition bronze figurine known as the ‘Bessie’. 

Previous winners include Susanna Clarke’s Piranesi in 2021, Maggie O’Farrell’s Hamnet in 2020, and Tayari Jones’ An American Marriage in 2019. 

Words by Sarah Garner

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