Published:  08:24 AM, 09 September 2021

Jonathan Strange author wins Women's Fiction Prize

Jonathan Strange author wins Women's Fiction Prize

British author Susanna Clarke has won the 2021 Women's Prize for Fiction for her second novel Piranesi.

The fantasy work is the long-awaited follow-up to her acclaimed 2004 debut Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell.

Piranesi, a mystery about a man living alone in a labyrinthine house, beat five other books to the £30,000 prize.

Novelist Bernardine Evaristo, the chair of the judging panel, said she and her fellow judges "wanted to find a book that we'd press into readers' hands".

She added: "With her first novel in 17 years, Susanna Clarke has given us a truly original, unexpected flight of fancy which melds genres and challenges preconceptions about what books should be.

"She has created a world beyond our wildest imagination that also tells us something profound about what it is to be human."

Clarke was one of two British authors up for this year's Women's Prize for Fiction (which was previously named after its former sponsors Orange and Bailey's) along with Claire Fuller, who was nominated for her fourth novel Unsettled Ground.

The other nominees were US authors Patricia Lockwood and Brit Bennett, the Ghanaian/American Yaa Gyasi, and Barbadian writer Cherie Jones.

Maggie O'Farrell won the prize last year for her novel Hamnet, based on the fictionalized life of Shakespeare's son.

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