Ladies’s Prize for Fiction: Maggie O’Farrell wins for Hamnet, about Shakespeare’s son
Writer Maggie O’Farrell has gained this 12 months’s Ladies’s Prize for Fiction for Hamnet, a novel impressed by and named after William Shakespeare’s solely son.
The Northern Irish author beat Hilary Mantel, Bernardine Evaristo and three different authors to the £30,000 prize.
Hamnet is a fictionalised account of the lifetime of the Bard’s son, who died in 1596 when he was simply 11.
Chair of judges Martha Lane Fox praised the guide for expressing “one thing profound in regards to the human expertise”.
She stated: “The euphoria of being in the identical room for the ultimate judging assembly was shortly eclipsed by the joy all of us really feel about this distinctive winner.”
O’Farrell is the 25th recipient of the prize, which was first introduced because the Orange Prize for Fiction in 1996. Earlier winners embrace Eimear McBride, Ali Smith, Zadie Smith and Andrea Levy.
‘Fantastically written and intensely transferring’
By Rebecca Jones, BBC arts correspondent
It will need to have been a very robust name spurning the Booker winners Hilary Mantel and Bernardine Evaristo. However Maggie O’Farrell is a worthy winner.
Hamnet is a superbly written and intensely transferring novel about grief and loss. However do not let that put you off.
It is usually a richly drawn and immersive portrait of life in 16th Century England, from the smells of bread rolls baking in a sizzling kitchen to the sight of bees teeming on a honeycomb.
It’s intelligent too. Shakespeare isn’t named. It is a guide a couple of girl and her three youngsters – and their lives are vividly imagined.
And it’s well timed. Plague killed Hamnet in 1596 and there’s a gripping chapter exploring how the illness reaches Stratford by way of a flea on a monkey in Alexandria and a glassmaker in Venice.
Commerce and journey are responsible and parallels with the present pandemic are unavoidable.
Evaristo was shortlisted for the Ladies’s Prize for Fiction for Woman, Lady, Different, which shared last year’s Booker Prize with Margaret Atwood’s The Testaments.
Mantel’s nomination got here for The Mirror and the Gentle, the conclusion to her trilogy of novels about Thomas Cromwell.
That is the fourth time the two-time Booker winner has missed out on the award, having been beforehand shortlisted in 2006, 2010 and 2013.
Angie Cruz, Natalie Haynes and Jenny Offill had been additionally nominated for Dominicana, A Thousand Ships and Climate respectively.
This 12 months’s award ceremony was to have taken place on three June, however was delayed as a result of coronavirus pandemic.
Wednesday’s digital occasion noticed O’Farrell named the winner in London and given her award in her dwelling city of Edinburgh.