2024 Women’s Prize for Fiction explores the ‘migrant experience’ | Lifestyle.INQ

OCTOBER 27, 2022

This year’s jury panel for the Women’s Prize for Fiction
This year’s jury panel for the Women’s Prize for Fiction includes (from left) Indira Varma, Anna Whitehouse, Ayọ̀bámi Adébáyọ and Laura Dockrill | Photo from the Women’s Prize website

The 2024 Women’s Prize for Fiction shortlist is an intimate look into family and the diaspora through a feminine lens



Experiences surrounding migration and filial relationships are told from a feminine perspective for this year’s Women’s Prize for Fiction shortlist, released by the British organization on Apr. 24. 

Organized by the Women’s Prize Trust, the annual award ceremony aims to “create equitable opportunities for women in the world of books.” For 2024, the shortlist features works from diverse settings such as China, Wales, and Sri Lanka. 

READ: International Booker Prize 2024 shortlist includes ‘implicitly optimistic’ titles from 6 countries

“This year’s shortlist features six brilliant, thought-provoking and spellbinding novels that between them capture an enormous breadth of the human experience,” said Monica Ali, the chair of judges for this year’s prize. 

“Readers will be captivated by the characters, the luminous writing and the exquisite storytelling,” she added. 

The awardee will be announced on June 13 through a summer party from the Women’s Prize Trust in London. 

With only a month away until then, here are the titles for this year’s shortlist:

“The Wren, The Wren” by Anne Enright

The Wren, The Wren
Photo from the Women’s Prize website

Described as “a testament to the glorious resilience of women in the face of promises false and true,” Enright’s “The Wren, The Wren” is a generational tale dissecting the dysfunctional relationship between Carmel, her daughter Wren, and her famed poet father, Phil. 

“Brotherless Night” by V. V. Ganeshananthan

Brotherless Night
Photo from the Women’s Prize website

Written in two settings—amid the Sri Lankan civil war in the 1980s and New York in the 2000s—Ganeshananthan’s “Brotherless Night” follows Sashi, a young woman with the ambition of becoming a doctor. Although able to fulfill her dreams, the war’s aftermath severs the different connections she had formed with her four brothers and best friend. 

“Restless Dolly Maunder” by Kate Grenville

Restless Dolly Maunder
Photo from the Women’s Prize website

Inspired by the life of Grenville’s grandmother, “Restless Dolly Maunder” explores New South Wales in 1981 through the eyes of the titular character Dolly. In a time fraught with misogyny, she attempts to shatter the glass ceilings placed above her and shoulder the shards that fall. 

“Enter Ghost” by Isabella Hammad

Enter Ghost
Photo from the Women’s Prize website

An ode to the art of theater, Hammad’s “Enter Ghost” centers on the story of a British-Palestinian actress named Sonia as she visits her sister in Israel. While there, she joins a theater group attempting to stage their own production of Shakespeare’s “Hamlet.” 

“Soldier Sailor” by Claire Kilroy

Soldier Sailor
Photo from the Women’s Prize website

Highlighting the sorrows and joys of parenthood, Kilroy’s “Soldier Sailor” is the tender letter of a new mother to her newborn son. Described as “raw, funny, and angry” by Ali, the book features honest accounts of motherhood, childcare, and the grief of lost youth. 

“River East, River West” by Aube Rey Lescure

River East, River West
Photo from the Women’s Prize website

An exploration of the immigrant experience, Lescure’s “River East, River West” takes readers through Shanghai, China in the 2000s together with Alva, a 14-year-old girl whose life turns upside down after her American mother marries a Chinese businessman. 

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