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Baileys Prize Winner: The Power

December 6, 2017

Baileys Prize Winner: The Power

We couldn’t be more pleased for Naomi Alderman, this year’s winner of the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction. Her winning title, The Power, is a brilliantly clever and deeply disturbing feminist science-fiction novel. Many comparisons have been drawn between Alderman’s work and that of the renowned Margaret Atwood, famous for her dystopian novel The Handmaid’s Tale. Atwood herself said of The Power,

“Electrifying! Shocking! Will knock your socks off! Then you'll think twice, about everything.”

This book considers what it would be like if the shoe was on the other foot - if women had all the power in society. Women the world over start to discover that they have ‘the power’, an ability to inflict agonising pain and even death. Footage of teenage girls electrifying men to death becomes viral. Boys are moved into separate schools for their own safety. Men all over the world find their power and privilege disappearing.

Set against this backdrop, the story follows four main characters: Allie, Roxy, Tunde, and Margot. Through each of their unique stories and experiences, a wider portrait of this world is painted, and shows that no matter who has the power, it will almost always be abused.

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"The Power is a subtly funny, lyrical and utterly subversive vision of an impossible future. As all the best visionaries do, Alderman shines a penetrating and yet merciful light on to our present and the so many cruelties in which we may be complicit" -- A. L. Kennedy

"What starts out as a fantasy of female empowerment deepens and darkens into an interrogation of power itself, its uses and abuses and what it does to the people who have it" -- The Guardian

"The Power is a fascinating look at what the world might be like if millennia of sexism went the other way...as a whole the narrative feels ingenious...deserves to be read by every woman (and, for that matter, every man)" -- The Times

Previous Winners of the Baileys Prize

  • The Glorious Heresies cover
    The Glorious Heresies

    Biting, moving and darkly funny, The Glorious Heresies explores salvation, shame and the legacy of Ireland's twentieth-century attitudes to sex and family.

    View Book
  • The Song of Achilles cover
    The Song of Achilles

    A breathtakingly original rendering of the Trojan War - a devastating love story and a tale of gods and kings, immortal fame and the human heart

    View Book
  • Half of a Yellow Sun cover
    Half of a Yellow Sun

    Winner of the Baileys Prize 'Best of the Best', this is a heartbreaking, exquisitely written literary masterpiece by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.

    View Book
  • On Beauty cover
    On Beauty

    Why do we fall in love with the people we do? Why do we visit our mistakes on our children? What makes life truly beautiful? This is a story about a pair of feuding families - the Belseys and the Kipps - and a clutch of doomed affairs. It puts low morals among high ideals and asks some searching questions about what life does to love.

    View Book
  • We Need To Talk About Kevin cover
    We Need To Talk About Kevin

    Eva never really wanted to be a mother; certainly not the mother of the unlovable boy who murdered seven of his fellow high school students, a cafeteria worker and a teacher who tried to befriend him. Now, two years later, it is time for her to come to terms with marriage, career, family, parenthood and Kevin's horrific rampage.

    View Book

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