Currently on display in the Senior Library is the 2018 Women’s Prize for Fiction, an award aimed at celebrating excellence, originality and accessibility in women writers. Last year’s winner The Power by Naomi Alderman explored a world in which young women could suddenly and inexplicably inflict agonising pain with a flick of a finger. The Power is a highly enjoyable, nuanced and thought-provoking exploration of power and gender. Recommended for fans of Margaret Atwood.
This year’s shortlist covers everything from motherhood- Sight, by Jessie Greengrass, to a modern day retelling of Antigone, Home Fire by Kamila Shamsie. Anyone who enjoyed the very popular The Essex Serpent, should try The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock by Imogen Hermes Gower, a witty and atmospheric novel of fantasy and illusion set in Georgian London.
Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward is a lyrical, but unflinching exploration of growing up black in America, set in Mississippi and continuing the rich literary tradition of family road trips through rural America.
For any English Literature students, or those thinking about university, The Idiot by Elif Batuman is an engaging and entertaining portrayal of a young women discovering the difference between literature and life during her first year at Harvard.
Older readers might consider When I hit You: Or, A Portrait of the Writer as a Young Wife by Mena Kandasamy - a searing portrayal of domestic violence and the role of women in Indian society.
The winner will be announced on 6th June.