Women’s Prize for Fiction nominees named

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The short list for the 2013 Women’s Prize for Fiction reveals an ‘exceptional year for women’s fiction’.

Speaking of the nominees for this year’s Women’s Prize for Fiction, novelist Kate Mosse, the prize’s creator, said it was a ‘real powerhouse’ shortlist.

She added:”There are some amazing novels this year from amazing writers.”

All the nominees are from either the UK or the USA, and include A.M. Homes, Zadie Smith, Maria Semple, Kate Atkinson, Barbara Kingsolver and Hilary Mantel.

If Mantel wins the prize for her historical novel Bring Up the Bodies, she will become the first person to win all three of the UK’s major book prizes.

Mantel won the Man Booker Prize last year and the Costa Book of the Year in January.

Both Zadie Smith and Barbara Kingsolver have won the Women’s Prize in the past, but only time will tell if they win again this year when the prize .

The Prize, formally known as the Orange Prize,which will be presented on June 5, is now in its 18th year and this is the first time that the shortlist has included two previous winners.

Responding to criticism that a prize for female authors is no longer relevant given their recent success, Mosse said:”The prize is to celebrate excellent writing by women.

“Why would you stop? It has been unparalleled in its success in promoting writers’ careers and works of excellence from all over the world.”

Journalist and former editor of The Lady, Rachel Johnson, author Jojo Moyes and writer Natasha Walter will join actress Miranda Richardson, who is chair of this year’s judging panel, in helping select the winner.

Based on the list, Richardson has described this year as an “exceptional year for women’s fiction”.

The award attracts a £30,000 cash prize with a bronze statue, known as the ‘Bessie’.

The shortlisted books are: Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel; Life After Life by Kate Atkinson; May We Be Forgiven by A.M. Homes; NW by Zadie Smith; Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple; and Flight Behaviour by Barbara Kingsolver