10 facts about the Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction

10 facts about the Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction

1. Of all the winners, the biggest seller according to Nielsen BookScan is Andrea Levy’s Small Island (Headline), which claimed the prize in 2004. It has shifted nearly one million copies, over 600,000 more than the 2004 Man Booker Prize winner, Alan Hollinghurst’s The Line of Beauty (Picador).

2. Margaret Atwood, Sarah Waters and Hilary Mantel have all been nominated three times without winning. Ali Smith and Zadie Smith both won—with How to be Both (Hamish Hamilton) in 2015 and On Beauty (Penguin) in 2006, respectively—after two previous nominations.

3. Tea Obreht is the youngest winner to date. She was 25 when The Tiger’s Wife (W&N) won in 2011. Rose Tremain is the oldest, aged 65 when The Road Home (Vintage) won in 2008.

4. Both winners in the last two years - Eimear McBride’s A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing (Galley Beggar Press/Faber) and Smith’s How to Be Both - had already won the Goldsmith’s Prize. However, this year’s Goldsmiths winner, Kevin Barry’s Beatlebone (Canongate), is ineligible for the Bailey’s Prize.

5. Two 2015 Man Booker-nominated titles have been shortlisted this year - Hanya Yanagihara’s A Little Life (Picador) and Anne Enright’s The Green Road (Vintage). However, Booker winners don’t tend to fare so well in the Bailey’s Prize, with Kiran Desai’s The Inheritance of Loss (Penguin), Margaret Atwood’s The Blind Assassin (Virago) and Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall (Fourth Estate) and Bring Up the Bodies (Fourth Estate) all missing out on the prize.

The 2016 Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction shortlist.

6. If 2016 shortlistee Hannah Rothschild wins with The Improbability of Love (Bloomsbury), she will become the first British author to win for her debut. Recent debut winners include Irish McBride’s A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing in 2014, American Madeline Miller’s The Song of Achilles (Bloomsbury) in 2013 and American Obreht’s The Tiger’s Wife in 2012.

7. After winning the Kerry Group Irish novel of the year, Enright’s The Green Road is favourite to win the 2016 prize, with odds of 5/2 according to William Hill. The Green Road was among the top ten bestsellers last year in Enright’s native Ireland, where she is the country’s fiction laureate.

8. Five British authors have won since the inaugural award in 1996, with North American authors taking the prize nine times.

9. Three previous winners have titles featuring a man’s name - Lionel Shriver’s We Need to Talk About Kevin (Serpent's Tail), Carol Shields’ Larry’s Party (Fourth Estate) and Miller’s The Song of Achilles. If 2016 shortlistee Ruby by Cynthia Bond (John Murray) wins, it will be the first winner to feature a woman’s name in the title.

10. Sales of Smith’s How to Be Both jumped 139% week-on-week after winning last year, while McBride’s A Girl is a Half Formed Thing increased 408% in the week of its win in 2014, according to Nielsen BookScan.