Naomi Alderman has won the 2017 Baileys Women’s Prize for fiction for her dystopian novel The Power. This is the first science-fiction to bag the award. The awards ceremony was held in London’s Royal Festival Hall on Wednesday (June 7).
The Power evolves around the story of women and girls who have the power to kill men with a single touch. The book got tremendous accolades and was chosen from a shortlist of six brilliant works of fiction, including favourites like former winner Linda Grant’s The Dark Circle and Man Booker-shortlisted Madeleine Thien’s Do Not Say We Have Nothing.. Other nominees were Ayobami Adebayo’s Stay With Me, CE Morgan’s The Sport of Kings, and Gwendoline Riley’s First Lov. Of all the prominent works by major writers, Alderman’s feminist thought won hearts.
Tessa Ross, the chair of judges and acclaimed TV producer, was quoted by The Guardian, “The book was a clear winner of the £30,000 prize, although there were at times passionate debate among the judges about the winning novel. This prize celebrates great writing and great ideas and The Power had that, but it also had urgency and resonance.”
She added, “The judges were impressed by Alderman’s tackling of sensitive topics that affect all humanity, from greed to power, and I also predict that novel would grow to be a classic of the future.”
Strange Horizons reviewed Alderman’s The Power as, “Left unspoken, and yet screaming off every page of The Power, is this simple truth: at the foundation of all the structures of our societies, even the ones we consider “good” and progressive, is male supremacy. And male supremacy is rooted in the potential for violence.”
This is London-born Alderman’s fourth novel, which was described in its FT review as “a thrilling narrative stuffed with provocative scenarios”.
Feature Image Credit: Sunday Times
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