October 26, 2021

Literature Journal

World literature news

List of Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction winners

The Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction (previously called Women’s Prize for Fiction (2013), Orange Prize for Fiction (1996–2006 & 2009–12) and Orange Broadband Prize for Fiction (2007–2008)) is one of the United Kingdom’s most prestigious literary prizes,[1][2][3] annually awarded to a female author of any nationality for the best original full-length novel written in English, and published in the United Kingdom in the preceding year.[4] The prize was originally due to be launched in 1994 with the support of Mitsubishi but public controversy over the merits of the award caused the sponsorship to be withdrawn.[5] Funding from Orange, a UK mobile network operator and Internet service provider, allowed the prize to be launched in 1996 by a committee of male and female “journalists, reviewers, agents, publishers, librarians, booksellers”, including current Honorary Director Kate Mosse.[6][7] In May 2012, it was announced Orange would be ending its sponsorship of the prize.[8] In 2012, the award was formally known as the Women’s Prize for Fiction, and was sponsored by “private benefactors” led by Cherie Blair and writers Joanna Trollope and Elizabeth Buchan.[9] In 2013, the new sponsor became Baileys.[10]

The prize was established to recognise the contribution of female writers, whom Mosse believed were often overlooked in other major literary awards,[11][12] and in reaction to the all-male shortlist for the 1991 Man Booker Prize.[13] The winner of the prize receives £30,000, along with a bronze sculpture called the Bessie created by artist Grizel Niven, the sister of actor and writer David Niven.[14] Typically, a longlist of nominees is announced around March each year, followed by a shortlist in June; within days the winner is announced. The winner is selected by a board of “five leading women” each year.[15] In 2005, judges named Andrea Levy‘s Small Island as the “Orange of Oranges”, the best novel of the preceding decade.[16]

The BBC suggests that the prize forms part of the “trinity” of UK literary prizes, along with the Man Booker Prize and the Costa Book Awards; the sales of works by the nominees of these awards are significantly boosted.[17] Levy’s 2004 winning book sold almost one million copies (in comparison to less than 600,000 for the Man Booker Prize winner of the same year),[18] while sales of Helen Dunmore‘s A Spell of Winter quadrupled after being awarded the inaugural prize.[5] Valerie Martin‘s 2003 award saw her novel sales increase tenfold after the award,[19] and British libraries, who often support the prize with various promotions, reported success in introducing people to new authors: “48% said that they had tried new writers as a result of the promotion, and 42% said that they would try other books by the new authors they had read.”[20]

However, the fact that the prize singles out female writers is not without controversy.[21] After the prize was founded, Auberon Waugh nicknamed it the “Lemon Prize” while Germaine Greer claimed there would soon be a prize for “writers with red hair”.[22] Winner of the 1990 Man Booker Prize, A. S. Byatt called it a “sexist prize”, claiming “such a prize was never needed.”[23] In 1999, the chairwoman of the judges, Lola Young, suggested that the British fiction they were asked to appraise fell into two categories, either “insular and parochial” or “domestic in a piddling kind of way”, unlike American authors who “take small, intimate stories and set them against this vast physical and cultural landscape which is very appealing.”.[24] Linda Grant suffered accusations of plagiarism following her award in 2000,[25] while the following year, a panel of male critics produced their own shortlist and heavily criticised the genuine shortlist.[26] Though full of praise for the winner of the 2007 prize, the chair of the judging panel Muriel Gray decried the fact that the shortlist had to be whittled down from “a lot of dross”,[27] while former editor of The Times Simon Jenkins called it “sexist”.[28] In 2008, writer Tim Lott called the award “a sexist con-trick” and suggested “the Orange Prize is sexist and discriminatory, and it should be shunned”.[29][30] No woman has won the award more than once but Margaret Atwood has been nominated three times without a win. Since the inaugural award to Helen Dunmore, British writers have won five times, while North American authors have secured the prize nine times.



Winners and shortlisted writers[edit]

YearWinnerWorkShortlisted nomineesNotesRef(s)
199675pxTemplate:SortnameA Spell of WinterJulia BlackburnThe Book of Colour
Pagan KennedySpinsters
Amy TanThe Hundred Secret Senses
Anne TylerLadder of Years
Marianne WigginsEveless Eden
Inaugural award known as the “Orange Prize for Fiction”.[31][32]
1997Template:SortnameFugitive PiecesMargaret AtwoodAlias Grace
Deirdre MaddenOne by One in the Darkness
Jane MendelsohnI Was Amelia Earhart
Annie ProulxAccordion Crimes
Manda ScottHen’s Teeth
First non-British winner[33][34]
1998Template:SortnameLarry’s PartyKirsten BakisLives of the Monster Dogs
Pauline MelvilleThe Ventriloquist’s Tale
Ann PatchettThe Magician’s Assistant
Deirdre PurcellLove Like Hate Adore
Anita ShreveThe Weight of Water
Second Canadian winner[35][36]
1999Template:SortnameA Crime in the NeighborhoodJulia BlackburnThe Leper’s Companions
Marilyn BoweringVisible Worlds
Jane HamiltonThe Short History of a Prince
Barbara KingsolverThe Poisonwood Bible
Toni MorrisonParadise
Blackburn’s second shortlisted nomination[37][38]
2000Template:SortnameWhen I Lived in Modern TimesJudy BudnitzIf I Told You Once
Éilís Ní DhuibhneThe Dancers Dancing
Zadie SmithWhite Teeth
Elizabeth StroutAmy and Isabelle
Rebecca WellsDivine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood
Second British winner in five years[25][39]
200175pxTemplate:SortnameThe Idea of PerfectionMargaret AtwoodThe Blind Assassin
Jill DawsonFred & Edie
Rosina LippiHomestead
Jane SmileyHorse Heaven
Ali SmithHotel World
Atwood’s second shortlisted nomination[26][40]
200275pxTemplate:SortnameBel CantoAnna BurnsNo Bones
Helen DunmoreThe Siege
Maggie GeeThe White Family
Chloe HooperA Child’s Book of True Crime
Sarah WatersFingersmith
Dunmore’s first nomination since winning in 1996[41]
200375pxTemplate:SortnamePropertyAnne DonovanBuddha Da
Shena MackayHeligoland
Carol ShieldsUnless
Zadie SmithThe Autograph Man
Donna TarttThe Little Friend
Shields’ first nomination since winning in 1998, Smith’s second shortlisted nomination[35]
2004Template:SortnameSmall IslandChimamanda Ngozi AdichiePurple Hibiscus
Margaret AtwoodOryx and Crake
Shirley HazzardThe Great Fire
Gillian SlovoIce Road
Rose TremainThe Colour
First British winner since 2000, Atwood’s third shortlisted nomination. Small Island was also the Whitbread Book of the Year.[42][43]
200575pxTemplate:SortnameWe Need to Talk About KevinJoolz DenbyBillie Morgan
Jane GardamOld Filth
Sheri HolmanThe Mammoth Cheese
Marina LewyckaA Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian
Maile MeloyLiars and Saints
The “Orange of Oranges” was awarded to Andrea Levy for Small Island.[2][44][45]
200675pxTemplate:SortnameOn BeautyNicole KraussThe History of Love
Hilary MantelBeyond Black
Ali SmithThe Accidental
Carrie TiffanyEveryman’s Rules for Scientific Living
Sarah WatersThe Night Watch
Zadie Smith’s first win after two nominations, Ali Smith and Sarah Waters’ second nomination[46]
200775pxTemplate:SortnameHalf of a Yellow SunRachel CuskArlington Park
Kiran DesaiThe Inheritance of Loss
Xiaolu GuoA Concise Chinese-English Dictionary for Lovers
Jane HarrisThe Observations
Anne TylerDigging to America
Award renamed as “Orange Broadband Prize for Fiction”. Adichie’s first win after being nominated in 2004, Tyler’s second shortlisted nomination.[47]
2008Template:SortnameThe Road HomeNancy HustonFault Lines
Sadie JonesThe Outcast
Charlotte MendelsonWhen We Were Bad
Heather O’NeillLullabies for Little Criminals
Patricia WoodLottery
This was Tremain’s 14th novel.[48][49]
200975pxTemplate:SortnameHomeEllen FeldmanScottsboro
Samantha HarveyThe Wilderness
Samantha HuntThe Invention of Everything Else
Deirdre MaddenMolly Fox’s Birthday
Kamila ShamsieBurnt Shadows
Award renamed as “Orange Prize for Fiction”. Robinson’s third novel in 28 years, Madden’s second shortlisted nomination.[50][51]
2010Template:SortnameThe LacunaRosie AlisonThe Very Thought of You
Attica LockeBlack Water Rising
Hilary MantelWolf Hall
Lorrie MooreA Gate at the Stairs
Monique RoffeyThe White Woman on the Green Bicycle
Sixth novel by Kingsolver.[52]
201175pxTemplate:SortnameThe Tiger’s WifeEmma DonoghueRoom
Aminatta FornaThe Memory of Love
Emma HendersonGrace Williams Says it Loud
Nicole KraussGreat House
Kathleen WinterAnnabel
Debut novel by Obreht. At age 25 (at the time of the award) she was the youngest author to win to date.[53][54]
201275pxTemplate:SortnameThe Song of AchillesEsi EdugyanHalf-Blood Blues
Anne EnrightThe Forgotten Waltz
Georgina HardingPainter of Silence
Cynthia OzickForeign Bodies
Ann PatchettState of Wonder
Debut novel by Miller[55][56]
201375pxTemplate:SortnameMay We Be ForgivenMaria SempleWhere’d You Go Bernadette
Hilary MantelBring Up the Bodies
Barbara KingsolverFlight Behaviour
Kate AtkinsonLife After Life
Zadie SmithNW
Award renamed as “Women’s Prize for Fiction”. A.M. Homes’ 6th novel.[57]
201475pxTemplate:SortnameA Girl Is a Half-formed ThingChimamanda Ngozi AdichieAmericanah
Hannah KentBurial Rites
Jhumpa LahiriThe Lowland
Audrey MageeThe Undertaking
Donna TarttThe Goldfinch
Award renamed as “Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction”. First shortlist with no British authors.[58][59]
201575pxTemplate:SortnameHow to Be BothLaline PaullThe Bees
Anne TylerA Spool of Blue Thread
Sarah WatersThe Paying Guests
Kamila ShamsieA God in Every Stone
Rachel CuskOutline
Debut novel by Paull. The “Baileys of Baileys” was awarded to Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie for Half a Yellow Sun.[60][61][62]
2016Lisa McInerneyThe Glorious HeresiesCynthia BondRubyAnne EnrightThe Green RoadElizabeth McKenzieThe Portable VeblenHannah RothschildThe Improbability of LoveHanya YangiharaA Little LifeDebut novel by McInerney.RubyThe Portable Veblen and The Improbability of Love are also debut novels.