Granta Best Young Novelists List Dominated by Women

15th Apr 2013

Granta Young Novelists

For the first time, the majority of the novelists were women, a refreshing piece of news to hear from the literati, recently sent not-quite reeling by the third VIDA count in a row to reveal women are still under-represented by the critics.

Early reviews of the anthology of writing from all 20 list members speak of “solid, old-fashioned storytelling” or “boil-in-the-bag postmodernism”, but there’s no denying that this list is, in some respects, far more forward-thinking than previous offerings.

As well as being chock-full of women, a good deal of the writers are from decidedly international backgrounds, including Nigeria, Ghana, the US and Bangladesh.

The writers are a good mix of established names and the more up-and-coming. Zadie Smith, a member of the 2003 list, makes the cut, as do Booker-shortlisted Sarah Hall, Orange-shortlisted Kamila Shamsie and the brilliant Naomi Alderman.

Less well-knowns include Toni Morrison mentored Taiye Selasi and Nadifa Mohamed, currently working on only her second novel but nominated for a host of awards for her début, Black Mamba Boy.

We’re on tenterhooks to see what these lot do next – and grinning from ear to ear that so many women have received recognition.

The full list is below:

Naomi Alderman
Tahmima Anam
Ned Beauman
Jenni Fagan
Adam Foulds
Xiaolu Guo
Sarah Hall
Steven Hall
Joanna Kavenna
Benjamin Markovits
Nadifa Mohamed
Helen Oyeyemi
Ross Raisin
Sunjeev Sahota
Taiye Selasi
Kamila Shamsie
Zadie Smith
David Szalay
Adam Thirlwell
Evie Wyld

Which ones have you read? And who else would have been on your list?

Rebecca Winson


  • Kate says:

    I am so happy for Helen Oyeyemi. Her books are haunting, funny, beautiful and relevant.