The longlist for the UK Women’s Prize for Literature 2021, featuring four African writers, was announced on March 10, 2021.

The Women’s Prize for Fiction is awarded annually to a female author of any nationality for the best original full-length novel written in English and published in the United Kingdom in the preceding year. Previous winners of the prize, that was started in 1996, include Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Zadie Smith and Ali Smith.

The judging panel for 2021 has Booker Prize winner Bernardine Evaristo chairing alongside Elizabeth Day, Vick Hope, Nesrine Malik, and Sarah-Jane Mee. It has revealed the longlist for this year’s award and they are listed below; we have highlighted the African (from whatever continent they reside) longlistees.

  • Because of You by Dawn French
  • Burnt Sugar by Avni Doshi
  • Consent by Annabel Lyon
  • Detransition, Baby by Torrey Peters
  • Exciting Times by Naoise Dolan
  • How the One-Armed Sister Sweeps Her House by Cherie Jones
  • Luster by Raven Leilani
  • No One is Talking About This by Patricia Lockwood
  • But Blue Sky by Kathleen MacMahon
  • Piranesi by Susanna Clarke
  • Small Pleasures by Clare Chambers
  • Summer by Ali Smith
  • The Golden Rule by Amanda Craig
  • The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett
  • Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi
  • Unsettled Ground by Claire Fuller

Chair of Judges, Bernardine Evaristo, said: “We read so many brilliant novels for this year’s prize and had an energetic judging session where we discussed our passions, opinions and preferences. Sadly, we had to let some very deserving books go but we’re confident that we have chosen sixteen standout novels that represent a truly wide and varied range of fiction by women that reflects multiple perspectives, narrative styles and preoccupations. These novels fascinated, moved, inspired and challenged us and we’re excited at announcing their inclusion on the Women’s Prize longlist.”

Watch the longlisted writers being revealed in the below video;

The judging panel will now whittle these 16 books down to a shortlist of just 6 novels, announced on April 28th. The 25th winner of the Women’s Prize for Fiction will be announced on Wednesday 7th July.