Irish debut novelist, Lisa McInerney, has taken out the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction, beating several high profile and prolific female writers: Man Booker winner and fellow Irish writer, Anne Enright; bestselling author of A Little Life Hanya Yanagihara and Cynthia Bond, whose book Ruby was championed by Oprah.
McInerney also took out the £30,000 prize and The Bessie, the limited edition bronze figurine, over writers Elizabeth McKenzie and Hannah Rothschild. Elizabeth Gilbert has written of the latter’s shortlisted novel: “Reading this book (The Improbability of Love) is like a raid on a high-end pastry shop – you marvel at the expertise and cunning of the creations, while never wanting the deliciousness to end.”
McInerney started her career writing about life on a council estate, with all her articles published on her blog Arse End of Ireland. The blog won the humour prize at the Irish blog awards in 2009; added to her credentials was a published short story.
Fast forward several years and she can now write 2016 Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction recipient next to her name for The Glorious Heresies. The book follows the lives of several misfits from Ireland in the aftermath of a messy murder. They include a 15-year-old drug dealer, a prostitute, a gangster and an accidental murderer.
Margaret Mountford, the former lawyer who is best known for her role on Britain’s The Apprentice, was on the judging panel. Of McInerney’s book she wrote:
“After a passionate discussion around a very strong shortlist, we chose Lisa McInerney’s The Glorious Heresies, a superbly original, compassionate novel that delivers insights into the very darkest of lives through humour and skilful storytelling … a fresh new voice and a wonderful winner.”
Now in its 21st year, The Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction is awarded to the best novel written by a woman from anywhere in the world. Formerly the Orange Prize for Fiction, the award began as a response to the 1991 Booker Prize shortlist, which featured no women writers.
The Glorious Heresies
Winner of the 2016 Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction
One messy murder affects the lives of five misfits who exist on the fringes of Ireland's post-crash society. Ryan is a fifteen-year-old drug dealer desperate not to turn out like his alcoholic father Tony, whose obsession with his unhinged next-door neighbour threatens to ruin him and his family.
Georgie is a prostitute whose willingness to feign a religious conversion has dangerous repercussions, while Maureen, the accidental murderer, has returned to Cork after forty years in exile to discover that Jimmy, the son she was forced to give up years before, has grown into the most fearsome gangster in the city ...
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