The Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction is opening its first-ever pop-up "book bar" at Waterstones’ new Tottenham Court Road store from Monday 16th May.
The collaboration and celebration of "the best writing by women" and 2016's shortlist will see the basement bar transformed into "an inspiring oasis" that "combines the love of reading with the pleasure of a Baileys".
The "inspiring" pop-up will last for five days, during which time book lovers are invited to drop in to relax and to celebrate the six shortlisted novels, while enjoying a Baileys. Book clubs will also be invited to host sessions.
During lunchtimes on Wednesday 18th and Friday 20th, there will be an opportunity to hear each of the six shortlisted novels read by actors Tori Allen-Martin and Jim Rastall (1-2pm).
In the evenings (or "cocktail hour"), the bar will transform into a hub for readings, discussions and panel events with "inspirational" women from the UK – as well as putting on creative cocktail making and a DJ set.
Ali Smith kicks off proceedings in a one-to-one conversation with novelist and Baileys Prize co-founder Kate Mosse on Monday 16th at 6.30pm; and on Thursday 19th May a panel of business women, including this year's chair of judges Margaret Mountford, literary agent Felicity Blunt, and Siobhan Moriarty from Diageo’s executive ommittee, will talk about the books that have inspired them in their working lives.
Eimear McBride, who won the 2014 Baileys Prize winner for her debut A Girl is a Half-formed Thing (Faber & Faber), takes part in a "rousing curtain-raiser" of an event at the week's close on Friday 20th May, at 6.30pm, concluding with a DJ set "inspired by storytelling".
The 2016 shortlist, announced on 11th April, comprises Ruby by Cynthia Bond (Two Roads); The Green Road by Anne Enright (Jonathan Cape); The Glorious Heresies by Lisa McInerney (John Murray); The Portable Veblen by Elizabeth McKenzie (Fourth Estate); The Improbability of Love by Hannah Rothschild (Bloomsbury); and A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara (Picador). Readers who purchase one of the six shortlisted books will additionally receive either a free "Flat White martini" or a Baileys coffee.
Mosse, said: “In the year the prize comes of age, I can't think of a better way to celebrate outstanding international fiction. The prize has always been about honouring the best and having fun while we do it, and also about championing the power of books to bring people together. It's going to be a fantastic – not to mention highly- indulgent – week!”
Anna MacDonald, Baileys Europe marketing director, added: “Baileys is the perfect accompaniment to a good book. In partnership with the Women’s Prize, we are proud to bring this to life in a unique way with the first ever bar to be given over exclusively to the sheer pleasure of books and reading. The Baileys Prize Book Bar will provide the perfect opportunity for people to come together over a cocktail to toast brilliant books by women.”