Women’s Prize 2024 Longlist: Fiction & Non-Fiction

The Women’s Prize is a charitable endeavour that aims to celebrate and champion female authors as well as their contributions to the literary landscape. Awarded annually, the Fiction longlist honours the best 16 original novels written in English by a woman, regardless of nationality, published in the UK the prior year. The winner receives £30,000 and a prestigious accolade, raising their profile and promoting their work. The inaugural Women’s Prize for Non-Fiction longlist features 16 diverse titles by female authors and explores themes ranging from history and personal journeys to socio-economic issues and cultural explorations. In an attempt to diversify your reading and offer a quick and easy foray into 2024’s longlisted works, we have curated a list of 5 that promises to widen the scope of your imagination as well as knowledge. Evocative, poignant and never still, these books merit all the praise and more.

Longlist: Fiction

Western Lane by Chetna Maroo

In “Western Lane,” Chetna Maroo, a rising talent in women’s literature, crafts a poignant coming-of-age story. Following Gopi, a young girl grappling with grief after her mother’s death, the novel delves into the world of competitive squash, offering a unique perspective through a female lens. Maroo’s evocative prose explores themes of loss, resilience, and the complex bond between sisters, making “Western Lane” a powerful testament to the strength of the female voice in contemporary fiction.

Brotherless Night by V. V. Ganeshananthan

 “Brotherless Night,” penned by V. V. Ganeshananthan, offers a poignant account of the Sri Lankan civil war through the eyes of a young woman named Sashi. As ethnic tensions escalate and the violence engulfs her family, Sashi grapples with shattered dreams, the loss of loved ones, and the complexities of war. Through her unique perspective, Ganeshananthan sheds light on the human cost of conflict, showcasing the resilience of the human spirit and the enduring strength of a woman’s voice in the face of turmoil.

Longlist: Non-Fiction

Shadows At Noon by Joya Chatterji

“Shadows at Noon,” a groundbreaking historical analysis by Joya Chatterji, sheds new light on the 20th century in South Asia, specifically the intertwined and deeply similar cultural, political and social landscapes of India and Pakistan. Offering a reinvigorated and intriguing thematic analysis of the era, Chatterji’s insightful work emphasises the social and cultural aspects of the region’s history. By incorporating diverse voices and experiences, often overlooked in past accounts, “Shadows at Noon” offers a richer, more nuanced understanding of this pivotal era. This fresh perspective, shaped by a prominent female scholar, allows readers to grasp the complexities of South Asia’s past with a newfound depth and appreciation.

The Dictionary People by Sarah Ogilvie

Ever wondered who defines the words you use? Who are those effusive beings behind the biblical OED? “The Dictionary People” unveils the fascinating, untold story of the everyday individuals who shaped the mighty Oxford English Dictionary, the granddaddy of them all. This captivating book delves into a world of eccentrics, scholars, and everyday citizens, all united by a love for language and a remarkable, 70-year crowdsourcing effort. Discover the human stories behind the words we take for granted and gain a newfound appreciation for the power of language and the unsung heroes who preserve it.

Matrescence by Lucy Jones

Moving beyond ‘motherhood’, acclaimed journalist and author Lucy Jones proposes a larger alternative conception of “Materescence”, asking readers to imagine the period as less of an acquired role and instead a holistic transformation. Exploring this revolutionary concept, the book delves into the emotional, social, and even biological shifts women undergo during pregnancy and parenthood. Greater than a non-fic guide to raising children, Jones’ is an affirmative text that’d show you how to discover yourself anew through the profound journey of becoming a mother.

Pick up one of these Five Books that have been Longlisted for the Women’s Prize 2024 from any Kunzum store or WhatsApp +91.8800200280 to order. Buy the book(s) and the coffee’s on us.

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