Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo has been shortlisted for the 2020 Women's Prize for Fiction, alongside five other books that judges said 'provided hope, a moment of escape and a point of connection now more than ever'.
Also on the shortlist are Dominicana by Angie Cruz, A Thousand Ships by Natalie Haynes, Hamnet by Maggie O'Farrell, Weather by Jenny Offill and the third in Hilary Mantel's Tudor history series, The Mirror and the Light.
Of the six shortlisted nominees, only Mantel has been in the running for the Women's Prize before, for The Mirror and the Light's predecessors, Wolf Hall and Bring Up The Bodies, and for her 2005 novel Beyond Black. Evaristo won the Orange Prize Youth Panel award in 2009, for her novel Blonde Roots.
The announcement, which is usually done at an event, was made digitally in light of the current Covid-19 crisis. Chair of judges Martha Lane Fox said that 'choosing the shortlist was tough - we went slowly and carefully and passions ran high - just as you would want in such a process. But we are all so proud of these books - all readers will find solace if they pick one up.'
The Women's Prize for Fiction ceremony has been rescheduled, and will take place on 9 September. This is the prize's 25th anniversary, and to celebrate a number of campaigns are taking place, including a digital book club under the banner of #ReadingWomen that encourages readers to take on the challenge of reading previous Women's Prize-winning novels.