Women writers exclusively make up the Goldsboro Books Glass Bell Award shortlist this year, with titles competing including Bernardine Evaristo's Booker-winning Girl, Woman, Other (Hamish Hamilton) and Oyinkan Braithwaite’s darkly comic debut My Sister, the Serial Killer (Atlantic Books).
The shortlist for the award—which rewards an outstanding work of contemporary fiction—comprises six books, half of which are by debut writers, and with Penguin Random House accounting for three of the shortlistees.
Braithwaite's debut My Sister, the Serial Killer, published by the only shortlisted independent Atlantic Books, was previously shortlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction and longlisted for the Booker Prize in 2019. The other two debuts on the shortlist are Blood & Sugar by Laura Shepherd-Robinson (Mantle), a historical crime thriller about the horrors of the slave trade, and ghost story The Lost Ones by Anita Frank (HQ), a haunting tale of family tragedy, loss and redemption.
Alongside Evaristo's Girl, Woman, Other, other books from Penguin Random House up for the prize are New York Times bestseller Erin Morgenstern's second book, immersive fantasy novel The Starless Sea (Harvill Secker), and Taylor Jenkins Reid's Daisy Jones and The Six (Cornerstone), the fictionalised oral history of a 1970s rock and roll band.
David Headley, Goldsboro Books co-founder and m.d., and founder of the Glass Bell, said: "Losing yourself in an incredible story is one of the greatest comforts available to us in these trying times – and each of these stories construct very different but equally immersive worlds for readers to inhabit," he said. "This shortlist highlights six of the best writers of fiction around today – who all happen to be women! I’m looking forward to our judging discussions – there’s so much to be said about each one of these remarkable novels, and choosing a winner will be difficult but very rewarding."
The prize, judged by Headley and his team at the bookshop, rewards "compelling storytelling with brilliant characterisation and a distinct voice that is confidently written and assuredly realised" in all genres.
The winner will be announced on 2nd July and will be awarded £2,000 and a hand-made, engraved glass bell.