With the 2017 Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction winner announcement only five days away, the latest odds from bookmakers William Hill have British author, Naomi Alderman, as favourite at 9/4 to win with her fourth novel, The Power (Viking).
Second favourite at 5/2 is debut Nigerian novelist Ayobami Adebayo, for her first novel Stay with Me (Canongate). At 29, Adebayo is the youngest writer on the shortlist. Close behind at 5/1 is American author C E Morgan’s second novel, The Sport of Kings (Fourth Estate). Last year, Morgan won the Kirkus Prize and Windham-Campbell Literature Prize and in 2009 was named a five under 35 by the National Book Foundation.
In joint fourth place at 6/1 is British writer Gwendoline Riley for her fifth novel First Love, and Canadian author Madeleine Thien for her third novel, Do Not Say We Have Nothing, which are both published by Granta.
Riley’s writing has won a Betty Trask Award and a Somerset Maugham Award, and has been shortlisted for the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize. Thien won the 2016 Scotiabank Giller Prize for Do Not Say We Have Nothing which was also shortlisted for the 2016 Man Booker Prize.
Fifth favourite at 7/1 is London–based novelist Linda Grant for her sixth novel The Dark Circle (Virago). Grant is a previous winner of the Prize, having won in 2000 with her second novel When I Lived in Modern Times (Granta). She was also previously longlisted for the Prize in 2008 for The Clothes On Their Backs (Virago).
The bookie's don't always get it right, however. Last year, the favourite to win was The Green Road by Anne Enright (Vintage), but the prize was claimed by second favourite The Glorious Heresies by Lisa McInerney (John Murray).
Set up in 1996 to celebrate and promote international fiction by women throughout the world to the widest range of readers possible, the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction is awarded for the best novel of the year written by a woman.
The winner will be presented with a cheque for £30,000 and a limited edition bronze statue known as ‘the Bessie’, created by artist Grizel Niven. Both are anonymously endowed. The award ceremony will take place on Wednesday 7th June 2017 in The Clore Ballroom of the Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, central London.
Earlier this week, the prize announced that it will be adopting a new, collective sponsorship model instead of a single headline sponsor after current sponsor Baileys revealed it had decided not to renew its support for prize in 2018 due to a change of strategy. It will be known simply as The Women's Prize for Fiction going forward.