Brilliant Reads at the Baileys Prize & Grazia Book Club…

Last night, at Foyles Charing Cross Road, four inspiring women came together to discuss their favourite, formative books.
Chaired by novelist and Baileys Prize co-founder Kate Mosse our brilliant panel included television presenter, broadcaster and campaigner June Sarpong MBE, award-winning novelist, memoirist and essayist Aminatta Forna, writer, poet, and editorial consultant Aki Schilz and debut author Katie Khan.

First up, Aki Schilz told the audience of her love for Little Women, saying: ‘To me as a girl and as a woman it’s just been instructive.’ Aki’s second choice was Woman at Point Zero by Nawal el Saadawi, commenting: ‘This book really taught me about being a feminist.’

The brilliant June Sarpong picked Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows by Balli Kaur Jaswal, telling the audience: ”It turns your presumptions on their head.’ June also chose Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice for it’s universal relevance, commenting: ‘We’ve all had a Bingley and wished he was a Darcy.’

Next up, debut author Katie Khan spoke of Susan Cooper’s The Dark is Rising novels and how formative they were for her when she read them as a child. Katie also touched on The Time Traveller’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger, and how it affected her when she read it following a break-up, saying: ‘There’s some kind of alchemy about finding the right book at the right time.’

Our brilliant 2017 judge Aminatta Forna was up next, choosing Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys as it taught her of the importance of alternative narratives: ”Everyone has their story and we all have the right to tell our story.’ Aminatta’s second choice was Citizen by Claudia Rankin, commenting: ‘I was 50 years of age when I read this book and it still changed my life.’

Keep an eye on our Instagram as we’ll be giving away all eight of the panelists’ brilliant choices. Plus, stay tuned to the @BaileysPrize Twitter as tonight from 7pm we’ll be livestreaming this year’s Baileys Prize winner’s announcement… Don’t miss it!

The Women's Prize Podcast

Tune into host Vick Hope and a line-up of incredible guests on our weekly podcast full of unmissable book recommendations.