The Women’s Prize 2019 for Fiction Finalists Announced

See the six finalists!

Womens Prize Fiction 2019 Shortlist Finalists

Your finalists for the Women’s Prize 2019 for Fiction have been revealed!

After more than a month of anticipation, the shortlist for the annual literary award, which recognizes books of different genres written in English by a woman, narrowed its 16 longlisted works in the race for the Women’s Prize for Fiction to six authors. Those finalists were: Oyinkan BraithwaitePat BarkerAnna BurnsDiana EvansMadeline Miller, and Tayari Jones.

Braithwaite’s My Sister, the Serial Killer is a debut novel. Miller previously took home the Orange Prize in 2012 for her novel, The Song of Achilles. Irish novelist Burns’ Milkman received the 2018 Man Booker Prize. Jones’ nominated novel An American Marriage recently won the 2019 Aspen Words Literary Prize.

The winner of the 2019 Women’s Prize, who also receives a £30,000 (A$55,030) prize, will be announced on June 5.

The Women's Prize 2019 for Fiction Finalists Announced

My Sister, the Serial Killer — Oyinkan Braithwaite

When Korede’s dinner is interrupted one night by a distress call from her sister, Ayoola, she knows what’s expected of her: bleach, rubber gloves, nerves of steel and a strong stomach. This’ll be the third boyfriend Ayoola’s dispatched in, quote, self-defense and the third mess that her lethal little sibling has left Korede to clear away. She should probably go to the police for the good of the menfolk of Nigeria, but she loves her sister and, as they say, family always comes first. Until, that is, Ayoola starts dating the doctor where Korede works as a nurse. Korede’s long been in love with him, and isn’t prepared to see him wind up with a knife in his back: but to save one would mean sacrificing the other…

Purchase: $13.39

The Women's Prize 2019 for Fiction Finalists Announced

Circe — Madeline Miller

In the house of Helios, god of the sun and mightiest of the Titans, a daughter is born. But Circe has neither the look nor the voice of divinity, and is scorned and rejected by her kin. Increasingly isolated, she turns to mortals for companionship, leading her to discover a power forbidden to the gods: witchcraft.

When love drives Circe to cast a dark spell, wrathful Zeus banishes her to the remote island of Aiaia. There she learns to harness her occult craft, drawing strength from nature. But she will not always be alone; many are destined to pass through Circe’s place of exile, entwining their fates with hers. The messenger god, Hermes. The craftsman, Daedalus. A ship bearing a golden fleece. And wily Odysseus, on his epic voyage home.

There is danger for a solitary woman in this world, and Circe’s independence draws the wrath of men and gods alike. To protect what she holds dear, Circe must decide whether she belongs with the deities she is born from, or the mortals she has come to love.

Purchase: $16.42

The Women's Prize 2019 for Fiction Finalists Announced

An American Marriage — Tayari Jones

Newlyweds Celestial and Roy are the embodiment of the American Dream. He is a young executive, and she is an artist on the brink of an exciting career. Until one day they are ripped apart by circumstances neither could have imagined. Roy is arrested and sentenced to twelve years for a crime Celestial knows he didn’t commit.

Devastated and unmoored, Celestial finds herself struggling to hold on to the love that has been her centre, taking comfort in Andre, their closest friend. When Roy’s conviction is suddenly overturned, he returns home ready to resume their life together.

A masterpiece of storytelling, An American Marriage offers a profoundly insightful look into the hearts and minds of three unforgettable characters who are at once bound together and separated by forces beyond their control.

Purchase: $7.99

The Women's Prize 2019 for Fiction Finalists Announced

The Silence of the Girls — Pat Barker

There was a woman at the heart of the Trojan war whose voice has been silent – till now.

Briseis was a queen until her city was destroyed. Now she is slave to Achilles, the man who butchered her husband and brothers. Trapped in a world defined by men, can she survive to become the author of her own story?

Discover the greatest Greek myth of all – retold by the witness history forgot.

Purchase: $13.89

The Women's Prize 2019 for Fiction Finalists Announced

Ordinary People — Diana Evans

South London, 2008. Two couples find themselves at a moment of reckoning, on the brink of acceptance or revolution. Melissa has a new baby and doesn’t want to let it change her but, in the crooked walls of a narrow Victorian terrace, she begins to disappear. Michael, growing daily more accustomed to his commute, still loves Melissa but can’t quite get close enough to her to stay faithful. Meanwhile out in the suburbs, Stephanie is happy with Damian and their three children, but the death of Damian’s father has thrown him into crisis – or is it something, or someone, else? Are they all just in the wrong place? Are any of them prepared to take the leap?

Purchase: $14.81

The Women's Prize 2019 for Fiction Finalists Announced

Milkman — Anna Burns

In this unnamed city, to be interesting is dangerous. Middle sister, our protagonist, is busy attempting to keep her mother from discovering her maybe-boyfriend and to keep everyone in the dark about her encounter with Milkman. But when first brother-in-law sniffs out her struggle, and rumors start to swell, middle sister becomes ‘interesting’. The last thing she ever wanted to be. To be interesting is to be noticed and to be noticed is dangerous.

Milkman is a tale of gossip and hearsay, silence and deliberate deafness. It is the story of inaction with enormous consequences.

Purchase: $7.91

Which title are you rooting to win the 2019 Women’s Prize for Fiction?
Let us know — and be sure to return June 5 when the winner is announced!
Paris Close
the authorParis Close
Founding Editor. Give me Gillian Flynn or give me death.