A Q&A with Naga Munchetty

With the 2016 Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction longlist now announced (take a peek here if you haven’t seen it yet), we sat down with Naga Munchetty, one of this year’s brilliant judges. Read on to find out about Naga’s childhood love of Judy Blume and Enid Blyton, her wish to discuss women’s literature with Emily Bronte and what exactly she’s looking to find in a Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction winning book.

What are you looking for in a winning book?

A story that I will never forget and one that moves me. A winning book will make me want to keep reading it and resent any chore that means I have to put it down. A book that I would go out and buy for my friends even if it wasn’t their birthdays!

If you had to use three words to summarise the judging of the Prize so far, what would they be?


Why did you want to judge the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction?

I’m an avid reader and also very keen that female writers are seen as a key part of the literary canon. It was an honour to be asked.

If you could choose one woman (dead or alive) to be in a bookclub with, who would you choose and why?

Emily Bronte – A woman who wrote in an era when women were not recognised as “substantial” writers – I’d like to hear her views on how female writing/literature has progressed.

What was the first book by a woman you loved?

There are two answers to this –
Judy Blume and Enid Blyton defined my childhood – They sparked my passion for reading and my bookshelf overflowed with their books.
A book that has always had a special place in my heart is Wuthering Heights, Emily Bronte

Find out more about Naga, and the rest of this year’s brilliant panel of judges here.

The Women's Prize Podcast

Tune into host Vick Hope and a line-up of incredible guests on our weekly podcast full of unmissable book recommendations.