Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction: shortlist 2016

Find out which books by female authors made this year's shortlist. The winner of Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction will be announced Wednesday 8 June

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Ruby - Cynthia Bond

Growing up as a black girl in 1950s Texas, opportunities are limited - so when Ruby Bell gets the chance, she lights out for New York. Decades later, she returns, and her childhood friend Ephram Jennings must choose between loyalty to his sister and the possibility of love with beautiful, mercurial, universally hated Ruby.

The Green Road - Anne Enright

Rosaleen Madigan's children have long since scattered from the family house in Ireland. They're now pursuing careers all over the globe, with greater or lesser success. When Rosaleen announces she's selling the house, they all come together for one last Christmas: to say goodbye, to come to terms with their past, and to face the future.

The Glorious Heresies - Lisa McInerney

Maureen never meant to kill the man, but now she has - and her actions will affect five of Cork's most peripheral members of society. There's Jimmy, her terrifying gangster son; there's Ryan, a 15-year-old drug dealer, and his dad Tony, obsessed with their next door neighbour. There's Georgie, a prostitute whose pretense of religiousness isn't as innocent as it seems. And then there's Maureen herself: exiled from Cork for forty years and about to discover how deeply interconnected everyone is in that city. 

The Portable Veblen - Elizabeth McKenzie

Veblen and Paul are engaged to be married. Veblen is whimsical and a little weird; Paul is a neuroscientist studying brain trauma. Their story includes grey squirrels, a shady Department of Defence contract, a hypochondriacal mother, and a pharmaceutical heiress named Cloris Hutmacher. Playful, bizarre, and unlike anything you'll read this year.

The Improbability of Love - Hannah Rothschild

Recovering from a devastating break-up, Annie McDee stumbles across a little painting in a dusty secondhand shop, and buys it on impulse. What she doesn't realise is that the painting is a lost masterpiece by Antoine Watteau, a French painter of the Enlightenment. Plunged into the world of art - about which she knows nothing - Annie must navigate the many people who want to get their hands on the lost Watteau, as well as the vagaries of her own heart.

A Little Life - Hanya Yanagihara

This needs no introduction. Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize in 2015, it tells the story of four friends as they make their way in New York: gentle actor Willem, charismatic painter JB, successful but aimless architect Malcolm, and brilliant litigator Jude, whose childhood was filled with a trauma he cannot discuss with his friends. It was generally considered a true Marmite book - you either really love it, or really don't - but no one can deny that it's powerful, intense, and memorable. 

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