BRICK LANE

Monica Ali

Still in her teenage years, Nazneen finds herself in an arranged marriage with a disappointed man who is twenty years older. Away from the mud and heat of her Bangladeshi village, home is now a cramped flat in a high-rise block in London’s East End. Nazneen knows not a word of English, and is forced to depend on her husband. But unlike him she is practical and wise, and befriends a fellow Asian girl Razia, who helps her understand the strange ways of her adopted new British home.

 

Nazneen keeps in touch with her sister Hasina back in the village. But the rebellious Hasina has kicked against cultural tradition and run off in a ‘love marriage’ with the man of her dreams. When he suddenly turns violent, she is forced into the degrading job of garment girl in a cloth factory.

 

Confined in her flat by tradition and family duty, Nazneen also sews furiously for a living, shut away with her buttons and linings – until the radical Karim steps unexpectedly into her life. On a background of racial conflict and tension, they embark on a love affair that forces Nazneen finally to take control of her fate.

 

Strikingly imagined, gracious and funny, this novel is at once epic and intimate. Exploring the role of Fate in our lives – those who accept it; those who defy it – it traces the extraordinary transformation of an Asian girl, from cautious and shy to bold and dignified woman.

Explore the other winners

Shortlist announced - 21 Apr

Stay in the loop

Enter your email to be the first to know the latest news from the Women's Prize For Fiction

VOTE

Vote for your favourite #WomensPrize winner

Cast your vote for your favourite #ReadingWomen book and decide who will be our Winner of Winners in our 25th year.

Favourite book Live

  • A Spell of Winter
    5% 114 / 2.2k
  • Fugitive Pieces
    2% 45 / 2.2k
  • Larry's Party
    1% 32 / 2.2k
  • A Crime in the Neighborhood
    0% 15 / 2.2k
  • When I Lived in Modern Times
    0% 17 / 2.2k
  • The Idea of Perfection
    0% 13 / 2.2k
  • Bel Canto
    4% 90 / 2.2k
  • Property
    0% 10 / 2.2k
  • Small Island
    8% 199 / 2.2k
  • We Need to Talk About Kevin
    8% 182 / 2.2k
  • On Beauty
    3% 71 / 2.2k
  • Half of a Yellow Sun
    19% 445 / 2.2k
  • The Road Home
    2% 55 / 2.2k
  • Home
    2% 51 / 2.2k
  • The Lacuna
    2% 61 / 2.2k
  • The Tiger's Wife
    1% 31 / 2.2k
  • The Song of Achilles
    11% 255 / 2.2k
  • May We Be Forgiven
    1% 29 / 2.2k
  • A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing
    2% 59 / 2.2k
  • How to be Both
    4% 99 / 2.2k
  • The Glorious Heresies
    2% 58 / 2.2k
  • The Power
    4% 110 / 2.2k
  • Home Fire
    6% 142 / 2.2k
  • An American Marriage
    4% 103 / 2.2k
Win a set of our 2020 shortlist!

Sign up for the Women's Prize for Fiction newsletter and win a stack of this year's six shortlisted books.

(We will send you occasional emails full of author interviews, extracts and audio, and you can unsubscribe anytime. Please read our privacy policy for more information).