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12th Mar 2021

Irish authors Naoise Dolan and Kathleen MacMahon longlisted for Women’s Prize for Fiction

Sarah McKenna Barry

The overall winner will be announced this summer.

Two Irish authors have appeared on the longlist for the Women’s Prize for Fiction in the UK.

Naoise Dolan was nominated for her novel Exciting Times, while Kathleen MacMahon’s Nothing But Blue Sky also made the list.

There are currently 16 writers on the longlist. A shortlist of six will be announced in April and the panel will reveal the winner in July.

Bernadine Evaristo, author of Girl, Woman, Other, announced the longlist earlier this week. The Booker Prize winner will also chair the judging.

The overall winner will receive £30,000 as well as a bronze figurine commemorating the achievement.

The Women’s Prize for Fiction is awarded to the best full-length novel written in English and published in the UK.

A series of both prolific and emerging writers join Dolan and MacMahon on the list. Other nominees include Brit Bennet’s The Vanishing Half, Avni Doshi’s Burnt Sugar and Dawn French’s Because of You.

On Twitter, Dolan said she was “thrilled” to see her name on the list.

Speaking to The Irish Times, the novelist said: “Thank you to everyone who’s responded so warmly to the novel over the past year – the support has meant the world to me.”

Exciting Times is Dolan’s debut novel. It follows protagonist Ava, a TEFL teacher in Hong Kong as she navigates a love triangle with a male banker and a female lawyer.

Kathleen MacMahon’s Nothing But Blue Sky, meanwhile, tracks the marriage of Mary Rose and David, and is tender and tragic in equal parts.

Nothing But Blue Sky is MacMahon’s third novel. Her debut novel This Is How It Ends was shortlisted for the Kerry Group Irish Novel of the Year award. The Long Hot Summer – her second novel – became a bestseller upon its release in 2015.