Patricia Lockwood, Yaa Gyasi and Susanna Clarke shortlisted for 2021 Women’s Prize

The Women’s Prize for fiction has announced a shortlist of six authors for this year’s edition worth £30,000 to the winner.

Made up of authors who have never been nominated for the award before, among them are Yaa Gyasi, Susanna Clarke and Patricia Lockwood.

The annual award for an “outstanding, ambitious, original” novel by a woman features several stories about “lives you haven’t read about before”, said chair of judges Bernardine Evaristo, the Booker prize-winning novelist. These, The Guardian reported, include Claire Fuller’s fourth novel Unsettled Ground, about middle-aged twins who have grown up in isolation in rural Wiltshire, and Cherie Jones’ debut How the One-Armed Sister Sweeps Her House, a story of murder, abuse and violence that takes place in a community on Barbados. These sit beside Gyasi’s second novel Transcendent Kingdom, following a family of Ghanaian immigrants living in the American south.

Brit Bennett’s second novel The Vanishing Half, about light-skinned African American identical twin sisters, one of whom secretly passes for white, makes the cut.

Clarke, author of the bestselling fantasy novel Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell, is shortlisted for her second novel, Piranesi, published 16 years after her first.

Lockwood’s fiction debut No One Is Talking About This, in which real life collides with the virtual world for a woman known for her viral social media posts completes the list.

The 2021 Women’s Prize shortlist

The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett (Dialogue)

Piranesi by Susanna Clarke (Bloomsbury)

Unsettled Ground by Claire Fuller (Fig Tree)

Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi (Viking)

How the One-Armed Sister Sweeps Her House by Cherie Jones (Headline)

No One Is Talking About This by Patricia Lockwood (Bloomsbury)

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