Irish author Lisa McInerney has claimed the prestigious Bailey’s Women’s Prize for Fiction for her debut novel.
The Glorious Heresies beat nominees including fellow Irish writer and Man Booker winner Anne Enright’s The Green Road and Cynthia Bond’s debut Ruby, which was championed by Oprah Winfrey, to the £30,000 prize.
McInerney accepted her “Bessie” bronze trophy and money at an awards ceremony hosted by novelist and prize co-founder Kate Mosse at the Royal Festival Hall on Wednesday.
Chair of judges Margaret Mountford said: “After a passionate discussion around a very strong shortlist, we chose Lisa McInerney’s The Glorious Heresies, a superbly original, compassionate novel that delivers insights into the very darkest of lives through humour and skilful storytelling.
“A fresh new voice and a wonderful winner.”
The Galway-born author’s debut, also longlisted for this year’s Dylan Thomas Prize and Desmond Elliott Prize, follows the lives of five misfits from the seedy underbelly of Cork including a prostitute, gangster and a 15-year-old drug dealer in the aftermath of a messy murder.
Now in its 21st year, The Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction is awarded to the best novel written by a woman from anywhere in the world.
Other titles on the shortlist were Hannah Rothschild’s debut The Improbability Of Love, American author Elizabeth McKenzie’s The Portable Veblen and fellow American Hanya Yanagihara’s A Little Life.
Lawyer and former right-hand woman of Lord Sugar on The Apprentice, Mountford was joined by Naga Munchetty, Laurie Penny, Elif Shafak, and Tracey Thorn on the judging panel.