Last night The Women’s Prize for Fiction 2018 was awarded to Kamila Shamsie for the brilliant Home Fire. The judges referred to the book as ‘a novel of our time’ and I’d agree that Shamsie’s retelling of the Greek tragedy Antigone is a compelling update exploring issues around immigration, assimilation and terrorism. I read it in one sitting; my review is here.
There was some number crunching with regards to The Women’s Prize on The Bookseller yesterday. The article looked at the trends in terms of previous winners. In the 23 years of the prize, Kamila Shamsie is only the fourth woman of colour to win the award and the first since 2007. What’s most interesting about the three previous winners is that they’ve gone on to be three of the top four biggest sellers (see snippet below); I’d be delighted to see Shamsie go on to join them.