Kamila Shamsie wins 2018 Women’s Prize for Fiction

Martin Reed

Martin Reed

Martin leads the SoA's Communications team. He oversees our strategic communications and campaign-based activities, including PR, social media, events and partnerships.
Home Fire by Kamila Shamsie has been named as the winner of the £30,000 Women's Prize for Fiction at an awards ceremony in Bedford Square Gardens this evening.

Pictured: 2018 Judges. Catherine Mayer, Katy Brand, Sarah Sands (Chair), Anita Anand, Imogen Stubbs

Home Fire, follows Isma, a young woman now free from the responsibility of raising her twin siblings in the wake of their mother’s death. She resumes a dream long deferred – studying in America. But she can’t stop worrying about Aneeka, her beautiful, headstrong sister back in London, or their brother, Parvaiz, who’s disappeared in pursuit of his own dream – to prove himself to the dark legacy of the jihadist father he never knew.

Then Eamonn enters the sisters’ lives. Handsome and privileged, he inhabits a London worlds away from theirs. As the son of a powerful British Muslim politician, Eamonn has his own birthright to live up to – or defy. The fates of these two families are inextricably, devastatingly entwined in this searing novel that asks: what sacrifices will we make in the name of love?

Shamsie is the author of seven novels: In the City by the Sea (shortlisted for the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize); Salt and Saffron; Kartography (also shortlisted for the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize); Broken Verses; Burnt Shadows (shortlisted for the Orange Prize for Fiction) and, most recently, A God in Every Stone, which was shortlisted for the Baileys Prize, the Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction and the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature.

Three of her novels have received awards from Pakistan’s Academy of Letters. Home Fire was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2017 and shortlisted for the Costa Novel Award 2017. Kamila Shamsie is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and was named a Granta Best of Young British Novelist in 2013.

She grew up in Karachi and now lives in London.

The five other shortlisted authors were:

  • The Idiot by Elif Batuman (Jonathan Cape)
  • The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock by Imogen Hermes Gowar (Harvill Secker)
  • Sight by Jessie Greengrass (John Murray Press)
  • When I Hit You: Or, a Portrait of the Writer as a Young Wife by Meena Kandasamy (Arcadia Books)
  • Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward (Bloomsbury Circus)

The Women’s Prize for Fiction is the UK’s only annual book award for fiction celebrating excellence, originality and accessibility in women’s writing from throughout the world. 2018 marks the 23rd year of the Prize.

This year’s judges were Sarah Sands (Chair), Anita Anand, Katy Brand, Catherine Mayer and Imogen Stubbs.

Read the full details on the Women’s Prize for Fiction website.