LONDON — Vancouver-born Madeleine Thien's Chinese-Canadian journey "Do Not Say We Have Nothing" is among the novels on the short list for the international Women's Prize for Fiction.
Set in China before, during and after the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests, Thien's novel was among the most acclaimed Canadian titles of 2016.
The Montreal-based writer was awarded last year's Scotiabank Giller Prize and the Governor General's Literary Award for fiction, and landed on the short list for the prestigious Man Booker Prize.
C.E. Morgan's multigenerational Kentucky epic "The Sport of Kings" and Naomi Alderman's gender role-reversal thriller "The Power" were also on the short list announced Monday.
Other contenders for the 30,000-pound ($37,000) prize are Nigerian writer Ayobami Adebayo's tale of love and loss in 1980s Nigeria, "Stay With Me"; British author Linda Grant's "The Dark Circle," set in a tuberculosis sanatorium after the Second World War; and British novelist Gwendoline Riley's portrait of a toxic marriage, "First Love."
TV executive Tessa Ross, who chairs the judging panel, said the short list "celebrates narratives that are daring and intimate, that examine the depth of human experience in unique and compelling ways." Founded in 1996, the prestigious prize is open to female English-language writers from around the world.
Several of the biggest names on the 16-book long list failed to make the cut, including CanLit legend Margaret Atwood, Annie Proulx and Mary Gaitskill.
Bookmaker William Hill made Alderman the favourite to win, followed by Adebayo.
The annual award is officially named the Baileys Women's Prize after its cream-liqueur sponsor. The winner will be announced on June 7.
— With files from The Canadian Press.
The Associated Press