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Maggie O’Farrell wins Women’s Prize for Fiction 2020 for Hamnet

Considered one of the most coveted literary prizes in the UK, the award was judged by writer Scarlett Curtis, author Paula Hawkins, author and comedian Viv Groskop and co-founder of the Black British Business Awards, Melanie Eusebe

By: Lifestyle Desk | New Delhi | September 10, 2020 1:08:14 pm
The award is at its 25th year. (Source: Amazon.in | Designed by Gargi Singh)

The Women’s Prize for Fiction for 2020 has been announced, and Maggie O’Farrell won it for her novel Hamnet. The novel is based on and named after William Shakespeare’s son who passed away at the age of 11. This tragedy and a variation of the name went on to inspire the Bard to write one of his most celebrated works on a son who loses his father: Hamlet. However, in spite of the title, Maggie O’Farrell looks at the boy’s mother in her work. She names her Agnes.

In its 25th year, the shortlist was announced in late April this year and consisted of titles like: Dominicana by Angie Cruz, Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo, A Thousand Ships by Natalie Haynes, The Mirror and the Light by Hilary Mantel, Hamnet by Maggie O’ Farrell and Weather by Jenny Offill.

“I keep thinking it must be some kind of elaborate prank. There wasn’t really any particle of me that thought it would happen. Being on the shortlist was kind of enough and it never occurred to me they would choose my book,” said O’Farrell, who was presented with the prize in a digital ceremony on Wednesday night. “You’ve got these huge literary goddesses Mantel and Evaristo on the shortlist, they’re all such fantastic works telling such diverse stories, from different times and divergent places and perspective,” the author was quoted as saying in a report in The Guardian.

Considered one of the most coveted literary prizes in the UK, the award was judged by writer Scarlett Curtis, author Paula Hawkins, author and comedian Viv Groskop and co-founder of the Black British Business Awards, Melanie Eusebe.

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