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Maggie O'Farrell wins 2020 Women's Prize for Fiction

Saturday, Sep 12, 2020 at 4:21pm

The winner of this year's Women's Prize for Fiction is Maggie O'Farrell, who won for her novel Hamnet and Judith!

Founded in 1996, The Women’s Prize for Fiction (formerly known as The Orange Prize and The Baileys Women's Prize) is the UK’s most prestigious annual book award celebrating fiction written by women. It comes with a £30,000 prize.

Hamnet and Judith, originally published in the UK under the title Hamnet, follows a family torn apart by the bubonic plague in 1596 England. The story is inspired by the life and death of William Shakespeare's only son.

Congratulations, Maggie O'Farrell! Find out more about the 2020 Women's Prize for Fiction here.

Categories: Awards, Saskatoon, Winnipeg

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Hamnet and Judith

- by Maggie O'farrell

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WINNER OF THE WOMEN'S PRIZE FOR FICTION

"[An] exceptional winner.... It expresses something profound about the human experience that seems both extraordinarily current and at the same time, enduring."
--Martha Lane Fox, Chair of The Women's Prize for Fiction judges

TWO EXTRAORDINARY PEOPLE. A LOVE THAT DRAWS THEM TOGETHER. A PLAGUE THAT THREATENS TO TEAR THEM APART.


England, 1580. A young Latin tutor--penniless, bullied by a violent father--falls in love with an eccentric young woman: a wild creature who walks her family's estate with a falcon on her shoulder and is known throughout the countryside for her unusual gifts as a healer. Agnes understands plants and potions better than she does people, but once she settles on the Henley Street in Stratford she becomes a fiercely protective mother and a steadfast, centrifugal force in the life of her young husband. His gifts as a writer are just beginning to awaken when their beloved twins, Hamnet and Judith, are afflicted with the bubonic plague, and, devastatingly, one of them succumbs to the illness.

A luminous portrait of a marriage, a shattering evocation of a family ravaged by grief and loss, and a hypnotic recreation of the story that inspired one of the greatest literary masterpieces of all time, Hamnet & Judith is mesmerizing and seductive, an impossible-to-put-down novel from one of our most gifted writers.

Published as Hamnet in the US and the UK.