Three writers from the Penguin Random House UK family of authors have been longlisted for this year’s Women’s Prize for Fiction; the UK’s most prestigious annual book award celebrating and honouring women’s fiction. 

Much-loved Hamish Hamilton author Pat Barker makes the longlist with latest book The Silence of the Girls - a retelling of the classic Greek myth of Achilles retold by the witness that time forgot: Briseis, a queen until her city was destroyed and she was enslaved by Achilles, the man who butchered her husband and brothers. Also shortlisted for the recent Costa Book Awards, The Silence of the Girls was described by The Guardian as ‘Mak[ing] you reflect on the cultural underpinnings of misogyny, the women throughout history who have been told by men to forget their trauma... You are in the hands of a writer at the height of her powers.’ 

Bestselling writer, journalist and critic, Diana Evans, is nominated for her third novel, Ordinary People. An intimate study of identity and parenthood, sex and grief, love and ageing, the book offers a glimpse into the lives of two London couples at a point of reckoning. The Observer called it ‘a deftly observed, elegiac portrayal of modern marriage, and the private – often painful – quest for identity and fulfilment in all its various guises’.

  • Ordinary People


    'Diana is so amazing when it comes to writing about humans and relationships... about how we change, grow, and fall away from each other... I don't know anyone who's as skilled as her' Candice Carty-Williams, Oprah Magazine

    Two couples find themselves at a moment of reckoning. Melissa has a new baby and doesn't want to let it change her. Damian has lost his father and intends not to let it get to him. Michael is still in love with Melissa but can't quite get close enough to her to stay faithful. Stephanie just wants to live a normal, happy life on the commuter belt with Damian and their three children but his bereavement is getting in the way.

    Set in London to an exhilarating soundtrack, Ordinary People is an intimate study of identity and parenthood, sex and grief, friendship and ageing, and the fragile architecture of love.

    'Diana Evans's fiction is emotionally intelligent, dark, funny, moving. The sheer energy in her novels is enthralling' Jackie Kay

    'I am shouting from the rooftops to anyone who will listen about this book. It's so so good - realistic and funny and so truthful it almost winded me' Dolly Alderton

    'I just finished Ordinary People by Diana Evans and it is utterly exquisite. What a writer she is - the depth of her insight, the grace of her sentences. WHAT HAVE I BEEN DOING ALL THIS TIME NOT READING HER?' Elizabeth Day, Twitter

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As one of 7 debut novellists to make the longlist, Kelleigh Greenberg-Jephcott is included for Swan Song. A dazzling debut about the line between gossip and slander, self-creation and self-preservation, Swan Song is the tragic story of Truman Capote and the beautiful, wealthy, vulnerable women he called his Swans. Meeting widespread critical acclaim, the book was described by the Sunday Times as ‘a dazzlingly assured first novel... This clever book, with the moreish astringency of a negroni, is a perfect summer cocktail’.

The full longlist for this year’s prize is available on the Women’s Prize for Fiction website.

The judges for the 2019 prize are Professor Kate Williams (Chair), journalist and writer Dolly Alderton, theatre critic Arifa Akbar, activist and psychotherapist Leyla Hussein, and digital entrepreneur Sarah Wood. The longlist will be whittled down to just six books over the next two months, with the shortlist announced on Monday 29th April.

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