For the second time in four years, our shadow panel winner is a book that didn’t make the official shortlist. Elmet is a superb novel about outsiders looking at class, power, violence, gender and sexuality. I hope, considering the number of prizes the book has now been listed for, it has a wide readership.
The shadow panel discussions this year were the most intense we’ve ever had. There were some very strong feelings about some of the books and we had quite a discussion about what constitutes fiction.
The book that came a close second for us was Jesmyn Ward’s Sing, Unburied, Sing which shares some similarities with Elmet in terms of its themes but is also a book about race and time and how the America of today can’t be disconnected from its history. Again, I hope it has a wide readership.
The official winner of The Women’s Prize for Fiction is announced tonight. There’s coverage on The Women’s Prize’s social media channels from 6.45pm.