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16 magnificent books by women in 2016 that you need to catch up on

According to the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction.

THE BAILEYS  WOMEN’S Prize for Fiction announced its longlist yesterday.

Just in time – we were looking to add some books to our to-read pile.

1. Little Deaths by Emma Flint

A gripping crime novel about a single mother whose two children are found murdered and the tabloid reporter who digs into the case.

2. The Power by Naomi Alderman

Anything that comes with Margaret Atwood’s seal of approval is fine by us.

Speaking of Margaret Atwood…

3. Hag-Seed by Margaret Atwood

The literary icon’s latest is a modern retelling of The Temptest. Intriguing.

4. The Mare by Mary Gaitskill

One of the most lauded books of 2015 follows an eleven-year-old Dominican girl who is placed with an affluent family in upstate New York, and bonds with a troubled horse known as Fugly Girl.

The New York Times called it “entirely book-clubbable”.

5. The Dark Circle by Linda Grant

A novel set in post-World War Two London that follows two twins, who are sent to a sanitorium to recover from tuberculosis.

6. The Lesser Bohemians by Eimear McBride

A coming-of-age tale about a young Irish woman who settles in London and embarks on a relationship with a significantly older man.

7. Midwinter by Fiona Melrose

A novel about a father and son in Suffolk coming to grips with the death of their wife/mother, and the emotions they have successfully repressed for a decade boiling to the surface.

8. The Sport of Kings by CE Morgan

A horse-racing epic about a family bidding to breed a champion racehorse.

9. The Woman Next Door by Yewande Omotoso

A South African novel about two elderly neighbours, both of whom are recently widowed and see each other as sworn rivals, who are brought together through a series of unforeseen events.

10. The Lonely Hearts Hotel by Heather O’Neill

A love story about two orphans who befriend one another in a Montreal orphanage and are subsequently separated as teenagers. Upon being reunited as adults, they set out to make their childhood dreams of staging a circus a reality.

It’s been called “enchanting” and “magical”.

11. The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry

A Victorian-set novel about a widowed woman named Cora who moves to Essex following the death of her husband. Shortly after her arrival, the town is beset with rumours of the Essex Serpent’s return. It’s against this backdrop that Cora begins an intense relationship with a local vicar. Ooh-er.

12. Barkskins by Annie Proulx

A 700+ page epic from the author of The Shipping News that spans 300 years and follows two immigrants to New France – an area in North American colonised by France – and their descendants.

13. First Love by Gwendoline Riley

A darkly funny, acerbic novel about a thirtysomething writer recounting how exactly she ended up married to a much older man, who behaves like a child.

14. Do Not Say We Have Nothing by Madeline Thien

Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, Do Not Say We Have Nothing is about a 10-year-old Chinese-Canadian girl and her mother who take in a Chinese refugee, and pieces together a family’s history from 1949 to the present day.

15.The Gustav Sonata by Rose Tremaine

Set in Switzerland, this is a story about a young boy named Gustav who befriends a musical prodigy named Anton. Told in three parts, the book documents their lives and friendship.

16. Stay With Me by Ayòbámi Adébáyò

A novel explores the themes of love, marriage and family in Nigeria through the prism of a young married couple.

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About the author:

Amy O'Connor

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