Writer and film-maker Hannah Rothschild is the only British author to have made the 2016 Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction shortlist, released tonight (11th April).
Her satirical debut title The Improbability of Love (Bloomsbury) is about a lost masterpiece of the same name by an influential 18th century French painter, Antoine Watteau.
Man Booker shortlisted author Hanya Yanagihara is among three American writers to have made the shortlist cut for A Little Life (Picador), along with New Yorker contributor Elizabeth McKenzie for The Portable Veblen (Fourth Estate) and Cynthia Bond's debut Ruby (Two Roads).
For a second time Irish author Anne Enright has been shortlisted, this time for her sixth novel The Green Road (Vintage), along with fellow Irish author Lisa McInerney, from Galway, for her debut The Glorious Heresies (John Murray).
Kate Atkinson's Costa Novel of the Year A God in Ruins (Doubleday) and Shirley Barrett's whaling tale Rush Oh! (Virago) were among the title eliminated from the running from the 20-strong longlist.
The announcement took place at the Royal Festival Hall tonight (11th April), hosted by co-founder of the prize Kate Mosse.
Judges for this year’s prize included lawyer and businesswoman Margaret Mountford in the role of chair; broadcast journalist Naga Munchetty; writer Laurie Penny; author Elif Shafak; and writer and singer Tracey Thorn.
Mountford said: "After a long and often passionate debate we are proud to present our 2016 shortlist. Our choices reflect a really diverse mix of brilliant writing from new and established authors around the world and we hope that everyone will find much to enjoy in them."
Syl Saller, chief marketing officer for Diageo, added: “What a range of beautifully crafted and excellent stories originating from Ireland to Texas – the judges have selected a truly exciting range of novels for this year’s shortlist. In partnership with the Women’s Prize, Baileys is thrilled to celebrate these inspiring female authors and bring the pleasure of their writing to readers across the world.”
The prize was set up in 1996 to celebrate and promote international fiction by women throughout the world to the widest range of readers possible. Any woman writing in English – whatever her nationality, country of residence, age or subject matter – is eligible.
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 in The Clore Ballroom, Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, London, on 8th June 2016.
Last year's winner was Ali Smith for How to be Both (2015).