Lisa McInerney wins 2016 Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction

Debut Irish author Lisa McInerney has won the 2016 Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction with her first novel The Glorious Heresies (John Murray).

At an awards ceremony at the Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, London – hosted by novelist and Prize Co-Founder, Kate Mosse – the 2016 Chair of Judges, Margaret Mountford, presented the author with the £30,000 prize and the ‘Bessie’, a limited edition bronze figurine. Both are anonymously endowed.

Margaret Mountford, Chair of Judges, said: “After a passionate discussion around a very strong shortlist, we chose Lisa McInerney’s The Glorious Heresies, a superbly original, compassionate novel that delivers insights into the very darkest of lives through humour and skilful storytelling. A fresh new voice and a wonderful winner.”

The Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction is the UK’s only annual book award for fiction written by a woman celebrating excellence, originality and accessibility in women’s writing from throughout the world.

Established in 1996 to celebrate and promote international fiction by women throughout the world to the widest range of readers possible, the Prize – now in its twenty first* year and the third year of an ongoing partnership with new headline sponsor, Baileys – is awarded for the best novel of the year written by a woman. Any woman writing in English – whatever her nationality, country of residence, age or subject matter – is eligible.

The judges for the 2016 Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction judges are:

Margaret Mountford, (Chair), Lawyer and Businesswoman

Naga Munchetty, Broadcast Journalist

Laurie Penny, Writer and Journalist

Elif Shafak, Author

Tracey Thorn, Writer and Singer

“Congratulations to Lisa McInerney – her winning novel The Glorious Heresies is a shining example of the excellence which the Prize has proudly celebrated for 21 years,” commented Syl Saller, Chief Marketing Officer, Diageo.  “Books are such wonderful windows into other worlds, and the novels on this year’s Baileys Prize shortlist showcase this perfectly. Lisa McInerney joins a line-up of 20 brilliant winners whose extraordinary talent is an inspiration to us all.”

Novelist & Co-Founder of the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction, Kate Mosse, said:  “This year, the Prize comes of age. Since 1996, we have honoured novelists of exceptional talent, have promoted and celebrated fiction from all over the world, have brought together readers and writers, and supported literacy, research and reading initiatives.  Now, as we celebrate the work of Lisa McInerney – our  21st winner – the list of those shortlisted and winning novels, past and present, stands as a tribute to women’s talent, ingenuity, originality and imagination.”

Lisa McInerney is from Galway and is the author of award-winning blog ‘Arse End of Ireland’. Her debut novel, The Glorious Heresies, was named as a book of the year by The Irish Times, Sunday Independent and Sunday Business Post and has been shortlisted for the 2016 Desmond Elliott Prize and longlisted for the 2016 Dylan Thomas Prize. Her short stories have featured in The Stinging Fly, on BBC Radio 4 and in the anthologies The Long Gaze Back, edited by Sinéad Gleeson, and Town and Country, edited by Kevin Barry.

The Glorious Heresies

One messy murder affects the lives of five misfits who exist on the fringes of Ireland’s post-crash society. Ryan is a fifteen-year-old drug dealer desperate not to turn out like his alcoholic father Tony, whose obsession with this unhinged next-door neighbour threatens to ruin him and his family. Georgie is a prostitute whose willingness to feign a religious conversion has dangerous repercussions, while Maureen, the accidental murderer, has returned to Cork after forty years in exile to discover that Jimmy, the son she was forced to give up years before, has grown into the most fearsome gangster in the city. In seeking atonement for the murder and a multitude of perceived sins, Maureen threatens to destroy everything her son has worked so hard for, while her actions risk bringing the intertwined lives of the Irish underworld into the spotlight…

Previous winners are – Ali Smith for How to be Both (2015), Eimear McBride for A Girl is a Half-formed Thing (2014), A.M. Homes for May We Be Forgiven (2013), Madeline Miller for The Song of Achilles (2012), Téa Obreht for The Tiger’s Wife (2011), Barbara Kingsolver for The Lacuna (2010), Marilynne Robinson for Home (2009), Rose Tremain for The Road Home (2008), Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie for Half of a Yellow Sun (2007), Zadie Smith for On Beauty (2006), Lionel Shriver for We Need to Talk About Kevin (2005), Andrea Levy for Small Island (2004), Valerie Martin for Property (2003), Ann Patchett for Bel Canto (2002), Kate Grenville for The Idea of Perfection (2001), Linda Grant for When I Lived in Modern Times (2000), Suzanne Berne for A Crime in the Neighbourhood (1999), Carol Shields for Larry’s Party (1998), Anne Michaels for Fugitive Pieces (1997), and Helen Dunmore for A Spell of Winter (1996).

The awards took place in The Clore Ballroom of the Royal Festival Hall, central London. In addition to the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction winner announcement, aspiring novelist Queenie Durkin was named as the winner of the Baileys Women’s Prize/Grazia First Chapter Competition for unpublished writers.

Press Enquiries

Amanda Johnson:

Tel: 07715 922 180

Polly Whitton

Tel: 0203 003 6300

If you would like to request an interview with Lisa McInerney after 8th June, please contact Rosie Gailer at John Murray on (0) 203 122 6408 or at

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