Women’s Prize 2018 Winner – Home Fire

Congratulations to Kamila Shamsie on winning for her beautiful, elegant novel about Islamophobia in the UK, inspired by Sophocles’ Greek tragedy Antigone.

The 2018 Chair of Judges Sarah Sands said: “This was a dazzling shortlist, it had depth and richness and variety. We were forcibly struck by the quality of the prose. Each book had its champions. We loved the originality of mermaids and courtesans, we were awed by the lyrical truth of an American road trip which serves as a commentary of the history of race in America, we discussed into the night the fine and dignified treatment of a woman’s domestic abuse, we laughed over a student’s rite of passage and we experienced the truth of losing a parent and loving a child. In the end we chose the book which we felt spoke for our times. Home Fire is about identity, conflicting loyalties, love and politics. And it sustains mastery of its themes and its form. It is a remarkable book which we passionately recommend.

I don’t think I realized until I heard the announcement just how much I was expecting When I Hit You to win, but Home Fire would have been my second choice and my second guess, so I am quite happy with it!

Have you guys read Home Fire and if so, did you like it?  Which book did you want to win?  And do you follow the Women’s Prize or are you planning on following it next year?  Provided the list is interesting enoug hI think I’m going to plan on reading the longlist next year (this year I read 10/16) so let me know if you’d like to join me!

8 thoughts on “Women’s Prize 2018 Winner – Home Fire

  1. I LOVE the Women’s Prize, have been following it for a few years now, and I’ve been dying to read HOME FIRE, so I’ll definitely be reading it sooner rather than later! Every year I say I’m going to read the longlist but every year it gets away from me… maybe next year!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I can’t wait to hear your thoughts on Home Fire! I really adored it, more than I was expecting to for some reason. My personal choice would have been When I Hit You but these were definitely my top two. Maybe next year indeed… if I take one look at the longlist and I hate it I won’t subject myself to that, but I’m really hoping it’s an interesting list! I love following this prize.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m very happy with the Home Fire win – my heart was with Jesmyn Ward, but Home Fire is a real cracker of a book and, as the judges say, timely, which always helps with prizes.

    I was on the Women’s Prize shadow panel this year and last, and it’s nice to have an odd number of people on the panel (tiebreaker votes are important!) – if you’re still keen next year, shall I mention you to the other shadow judges?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jesmyn Ward is an associate professor at my alma mater so I wanted very badly to love her book and still feel a bit bad that I didn’t 😦 I need to check out her back catalog though, I’m determined to find one of her books that works for me. But yay Home Fire! My heart was with When I Hit You but I think Shamsie is a very deserving winner indeed.

      Oooh that sounds like fun, I’d definitely consider it if I’ve got the time next year! What platform do you guys use for discussion?

      Liked by 1 person

      • You know, the more I work in a bookshop, the more I realise that reactions to books are MAD subjective. It’s why prize lists and judging can be such fun (and so infuriating)—even people looking for the same things in books can find different things in identical stories.

        Next year I’ll suggest your name to the other three—it’s possible we won’t do it, or that we’ll want to keep the numbers as they are, but worth the ask anyway. I can’t remember—are you UK-based? That’s pretty key! We used to use Gmail threads, but this past year we just read and thought on our own, and then met up in central London to discuss. (Three-quarters of us live in London or surrounds, and the other quarter of us is in London a lot anyway.)

        Liked by 1 person

      • The subjectivity of literature is definitely what makes all of this so much fun. I never tire of watching different people talk about the same group of books, because the variety in reactions is just so fascinating to me.

        Oh damn, I am not UK-based! I am unfortunately American. That sounds like so much fun though – I guess I’ll just look forward to reading your thoughts again next year. Thanks for thinking of me though!
        Who else is on the shadow panel – is it all blogger/booktube people?


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