Hilary Mantel’s new work The Mirror And The Light is pitted against Booker Prize winner Bernardine Evaristo’s Girl, Woman, Other as the Women’s Prize For Fiction shortlist is revealed

  • The Mirror And The Light concludes Hilary Mantel’s Thomas Cromwell trilogy
  • Girl, Woman, Other won the Booker Prize alongside Margaret Atwood’s The Testaments
  • The announcement of the winner has been rescheduled to take place on September 9

Hilary Mantel’s new novel will compete against Booker Prize winner Girl, Woman, Other for this year’s Women’s Prize For Fiction.  

The Mirror And The Light was published last month, which concluded Mantel’s Thomas Cromwell trilogy. 

Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo was the joint winner of the Booker Prize.  

The Mirror And The Light was published last month, which concluded Mantel’s Thomas Cromwell trilogy. Hilary Mantel is pictured at a book signing for the new book at Waterstones Piccadilly 

Evaristo won alongside Margaret Atwood for The Handmaid’s Tale sequel The Testaments.  

The six shortlisted books offer the chance to ‘connect with the outside world’ during coronavirus lockdown, Chair of Judges Baroness Lane-Fox said. 

The Lastminute.com co-founder said: ‘I find that having an ability to connect into a world outside is fundamental to being able to cope with being locked inside.

Mantel’s novel will compete against Bernardine Evaristo’s Girl, Woman, Other which was a joint winner of the 2019 Booker prize

‘Sitting down, shutting a door, taking some time to yourself and reading, I believe, makes you more able to be equipped to deal with the challenges when you finally open that door again.’ 

The £30,000 prize celebrates writing by women in English from around the world and has been running for 25 years. 

Dominicana by U.S. novelist Angie Cruz is also on the shortlist. It is a ‘vital portrait of the immigrant experience and the timeless coming-of-age story of a young woman finding her voice in the world’. 

Classicist Natalie Haynes’s A Thousand Ships, which retells the story of the Trojan War from an all-female perspective, is also in the running. 

The final book on the shortlist is Maggie O’Farrell’s Hamnet and Weather by U.S. novelist Jenny Offill. 

Hamnet tells the story of the bond between twins and of a marriage pushed to the brink by grief. 

Weather is ‘a dazzling and deadpan’ novel about hope and despair, fear and comfort.  

Baroness Lane-Fox said: ‘We are all living in challenging, sad and complex times so incredible stories provide hope, a moment of escape and a point of connection now more than ever.’   

Evaristo (right) won the Booker Prize alongside Margaret Atwood (left). Atwood won for The Testaments, which was the sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale

The 2020 Women’s Prize for Fiction awards winner announcement has been rescheduled this year to take place on September 9.  

Mantel has won the Booker Prize twice for Wolf Hall and its sequel Bring Up The Bodies, the first two books of the Thomas Cromwell trilogy. She was appointed a DBE in 2014.  

Last year Tayari Jones won the Women’s Prize for Fiction for her novel An American Marriage, who was against the 2018 Booker Prize winner Anna Burns’s Milkman. 

The 2019 Chair of Judges Professor Kate Williams said: ‘This is an exquisitely intimate portrait of a marriage shattered by racial injustice.

‘It is a story of love, loss and loyalty, the resilience of the human spirit painted on a big political canvas – that shines a light on today’s America. We all loved this brilliant book.’ 

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