Shortlist readings round up

Last night, in the beautiful surroundings of Cadogan Hall, this year’s shortlisted authors gathered together to read from and discuss their nominated books on the eve of the 2016 winner’s announcement.

The evening was hosted by our co-founder bestselling novelist Kate Mosse and this year’s Chair of Judges Margaret Mountford.

Margaret introduced our shortlisted authors and spoke a little about her experiences of judging the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction, praising the shortlist and commenting: ‘it’s not often you come across books you can read three times.’

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We were treated to a reading of Ruby from author Cynthia Bond, who was asked about her motivation for writing and said: ‘Your goal has to be to communicate and give your reader something exciting and a gift, in a way.’

Robin Robertson, Anne Enright’s editor, then took to the stage to stand in for Anne who was unable to attend, reading the audience a hilarious extract from The Green Road.

Following this, Lisa McInerney read from her shortlisted novel The Glorious Heresies, commenting: ‘I didn’t expect to come to the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction and be upstaged by a man.’ She was also asked about finding her voice as a novelist and said: ‘For a long time I thought I couldn’t write literary fiction and be funny.’

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Elizabeth McKenzie then took to the stage to read from her squirrely shortlisted novel The Portable Veblen, commenting after: ‘Squirrels have some fascinating habits, including making mushroom jerky.’

We were then treated from an amusing extract of The Improbability of Love read by Hannah Rothschild. When questioned about the inspiration behind the characters in her book by Margaret Mountford, Hannah said: ‘The art world is full of larger than life characters.’

Due to previous commitments in New York,  Hanya Yanagihara sadly could not be with us, however actor Timothy Watson (the nations favourite villain, Rob Titchener from The Archers) read a passage from A Little Life, with Hanya’s UK publisher Paul Baggaley standing in to answer questions.

The 2016 winner will be announced today! Stay tuned to our FacebookTwitter or Instagram and tell us your predictions.

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