Burial Rites shortlisted for Bailey's Women's Prize for Fiction

08 April 2014

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One of Picador's biggest debut novels of 2013, Burial Rites by Hannah Kent, is on the six-strong shortlist for the 2014 Bailey's Women's Prize for Fiction.

Sophie Raworth, one of the judges this year, said of Burial Rites:

'A stunning, haunting debut by this young Australian writer. It tells the story of Agnes, condemned to death for murder in Iceland in the 1820s. Beautiful prose, evocative imagery, Hannah Kent transports you effortlessly back to the bleak landscape of northern Iceland two centuries ago. I couldn’t put it down, yet I didn’t want it to come to an end. It’s a book that will stay with you for a long time.'

The prize is awarded for accessibility, originality and excellence in writing by women. The five judges are asked to ignore reviews, an author’s previous reputation and any sense of ‘who deserves it’, looking instead for the novel that inspires them, moves them and makes them think. The winner will be announced on 4 June 2014.

Also on the shortlist are:

Americanah, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
The Lowland, Jhumpa Lahiri
The Undertaking, Audrey Magee
A Girl Is A Half-Formed Thing, Eimear McBride
The Goldfinch, Donna Tartt

How many of the books on the shortlist have you read? Who do you think should win?

Burial Rites: a photo essay from Iceland

Hannah Kent picks ten of the best landscapes in fiction

A last word from Picador's Andrea Ashworth on Bailey's: ‘I would go to bed as early as possible and sink into my pillow with a book and a miniature bottle of Bailey’s cream, my tongue skating the silky rim of the neck, while I sipped words off the page’.

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