Baileys Prize for Women’s Fiction
The Women’s Prize for Fiction has found a new sponsor - it no longer needs the Prince-like moniker of ‘the prize formerly known as the Orange’. After more than 20 sponsors competed to take up the mantle, the board chose Baileys, who signed up for an initial three years.
Novelist Kate Mosse, the prize’s co-founder, said that the cream liqueur company was chosen because they were looking to ‘take the prize to another level, so [needed] a company that was ambitious and had a global reach’.
The Guardian asked Mosse to address murmurs that there is no longer a need for the prize, given its success in raising the profile of women writers, as evidenced by the strength of this year’s shortlist. Hilary Mantel is just one of the writers on the shortlist: she has already won the Man Booker and the Costa, the other two major literary prizes in the UK. Does she need a third?
‘Every single bookseller says it sells books like no other prize, and then the idea is that therefore you shouldn’t do it any more?’ Mosse laughed, talking to the Guardian.
‘But also, it is about a celebration of women’s achievements, and to celebrate the best, so why would you stop? This is a literary prize, this is not politics, but saying visibly, internationally, that there are extraordinary women doing extraordinary things, is even more important now. In a world where you have a 15-year-old shot for wanting to learn to read, because she’s a girl, saying very visibly “women’s creativity matters” is really important.’
This year’s shortlist is:
Life After Life by Kate Atkinson
May We Be Forgiven by A.M. Homes
Flight Behaviour by Barbara Kingsolver
Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel
Where’d You Go Bernadette by Maria Semple
NW by Zadie Smith
The winner will be announced this week.