HomeArts & EntertainmentBooksBarbara Kingsolver becomes first author to win the Women’s prize for fiction...

Barbara Kingsolver becomes first author to win the Women’s prize for fiction twice

Barbara Kingsolver has been named the winner of this year’s Women’s Prize for Fiction.

The American novelist is the first person to win the award twice in its 28-year history. She previously won in 2010 for her sixth novel The Lacuna.

Kingsolver was presented with the award for her Pulitzer-prize winning novel Demon Copperhead at an ceremony that took place at Bedford Square Garden, London on Wednesday (14 June).

The 2022 novel is a reimagining of Charles DickensDavid Copperfield.

Set in the Appalachian mountains of Virginia in the US, Demon Copperhead follows the title character as he comes up against addiction, poverty, foster care, and labour exploitation.

Broadcaster and writer Louise Minchin chaired a panel of judges who unanimously decided on Kingsolver’s novel.

Minchin said that the author had written “a towering, deeply powerful and significant book”.

She continued: “In a year of outstanding fiction by women, we made a unanimous decision on Demon Copperhead as our winner. Brilliant and visceral, it is storytelling by an author at the top of her game.

“We were all deeply moved by Demon, his gentle optimism, resilience and determination despite everything being set against him.”

Kingsolver’s novel beat out other entries on the shortlist, which included debut novelists Jacqueline Crooks for Fire Rush and Louise Kennedy for Trespasses.

Also on the shortlist were Priscilla Morris for Black Butterflies, as well as former winner Maggie O’Farrell for The Marriage Portrait.

On the judging panel alongside Minchin were novelist Rachel Joyce, journalist, podcaster and writer Bella Mackie, novelist and short story writer Irenosen Okojie, and Labour MP Tulip Siddiq.

Previous winners of the prize – which was set up in 1996 to celebrate and promote fiction by women – include Maggie O’Farrell, Ali Smith, Linda Grant, and Andrea Levy.

American-Canadian author Ruth Ozeki won in 2022 for her novel The Book of Form and Emptiness.

Earlier this year, the Women’s Prize launched a non-fiction prize, which will be awarded for the first time in 2024.

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