A shortlist full of pioneers and career-defining novels.
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Jenny Offill, hardback
Lizzie Benson slid into her job as a librarian without a traditional degree. For years, she has supported her God-haunted mother and her recovering addict brother. When her brother becomes a father and Sylvia a recluse, Lizzie is forced to acknowledge the limits of what she can do. And all the while the voices of the city keep floating in--funny, disturbing, and increasingly mad.
A Thousand Ships
Natalia Haynes, hardback
In the middle of the night, Creusa wakes to find her beloved Troy engulfed in flames. Over the next few hours, the only life she has ever known will turn to ash. These are the stories of the women embroiled in that legendary war and its terrible aftermath. Powerfully told from an all-female perspective, A Thousand Ships gives voices to the women, girls and goddesses who, for so long, have been silent.
Maggie O'Farrell, hardback
Hamnet is a novel inspired by the son of a famous playwright. It is a story of the bond between twins, and of a marriage pushed to the brink by grief. It is also the story of a kestrel and its mistress; flea that boards a ship in Alexandria; and a glovemaker's son who flouts convention in pursuit of the woman he loves. Above all, it is a tender and unforgettable reimagining of a boy whose life has been all but forgotten, but whose name inspired one of the most celebrated plays ever written.
Girl, Woman, Other
Bernadine Evaristo, paperback
This is Britain as you've never read it. This is Britain as it has never been told. From Newcastle to Cornwall, from the birth of the twentieth century to the teens of the twenty-first, Girl, Woman, Other follows a cast of twelve characters on their personal journeys through this country and the last hundred years. They're each looking for something - a shared past, an unexpected future, a place to call home, somewhere to fit in, a lover, a missed mother, a lost father, even just a touch of hope . . .
The Mirror & The Light
Hilary Mantel, hardback
The long-awaited sequel to Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies, the stunning conclusion to Hilary Mantel's Man Booker Prize-winning Wolf Hall trilogy. Cromwell is a man with only his wits to rely on; he has no great family to back him, no private army. Despite rebellion at home, traitors plotting abroad and the threat of invasion testing Henry's regime to breaking point, Cromwell's robust imagination sees a new country in the mirror of the future. But can a nation, or a person, shed the past like a skin?
Angie Cruz, hardback
Fifteen-year-old Ana Cancion never dreamed of moving to America. But when Juan Ruiz proposes and promises to take her to New York City, she must say yes. Their marriage is an opportunity for her entire close-knit family to eventually immigrate. Ana must decide between her heart and her duty to her family. In bright, musical prose that reflects the energy of New York City, Dominicana is a vital portrait of the immigrant experience and the timeless coming-of-age story of a young woman finding her voice in the world.