Today, the UK’s prestigious Women’s Prize for Fiction announced this year’s winner: Barbara Kingsolver, for her novel Demon Copperhead. This is Kingsolver’s second Women’s Prize, after her win in 2010 for The Lacuna, which makes her the first two-time winner of the award since its founding in 1996.
“Barbara Kingsolver has written a towering, deeply powerful and significant book,” said chair of judges Louise Minchin in a statement.
In a year of outstanding fiction by women, we made a unanimous decision on Demon Copperhead as our winner. Brilliant and visceral, it is storytelling by an author at the top of her game. We were all deeply moved by Demon, his gentle optimism, resilience and determination despite everything being set against him.
An exposé of modern America, its opioid crisis and the detrimental treatment of deprived and maligned communities, Demon Copperhead tackles universal themes—from addiction and poverty, to family, love, and the power of friendship and art—it packs a triumphant emotional punch, and is a novel that will withstand the test of time.
At an awards ceremony in London, the Louise Minchin presented Kingsolver with the £30,000 prize, endowed by an anonymous donor, and the Bessie, a limited-edition bronze figurine by Grizel Niven.
Former winners of the £30,000 prize (previously called the Orange Prize for Fiction and the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction) include Ann Patchett (2002), Zadie Smith (2006), Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (2007), Marilynne Robinson (2009), Téa Obreht (2011), Madeline Miller (2012), and Maggie O’Farrell (2020).