Candice Carty-Williams: ‘funny girls are brilliant’

On the latest episode of the Women’s Prize Podcast, Sunday Times bestselling author Candice Carty-Williams joined our brand new Season Four host Zawe Ashton to discuss her top five favourite books by women that have impacted her life. Candice and Zawe discuss how the newest groundbreaking fiction can help decolonize British literature, why the library provided a refuge for both in their teens and why funny girls get the last laugh. Listen to the episode here or scroll on for Candice’s book choices.

Angus, thongs and full-frontal snogging

Brilliantly funny, teenage angst author Louise Rennison’s first book about the confessions of crazy but lovable Georgia Nicolson. There are…

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‘I loved the drama of Georgia. I love that she was funny and I loved that she was so, so dramatic…  She made herself main character of everyone else’s everyone else’s world, and there are so many similarities with Queenie because I knew that was the kind of character I wanted to write.’

Character Breakdown

Zawe Ashton has been acting since she was six. She has played many different roles, from ‘cute little girl’ to…

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‘Character Breakdown will always stay with me, just because I don’t think I realised just how much waking up in the morning and just having to be yourself could be seen and altered by so many different people.’


In this moving, critical and fiercely intelligent collection of prose poems, Claudia Rankine examines the experience of race and racism…

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‘[Reading Citizen] was the first time that I had read or understood what a microaggression was. And I remember feeling like little pops of relief, as I realised that this thing that I had been living wasn’t imagined.’

Keisha the Sket

Keisha is a girl from the ends, sharp, feisty and ambitious; she’s been labelled ‘top sket’ but she’s making it…

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‘She had a computer that didn’t have Microsoft Word, it just had Notepad, and that’s what she wrote the entire thing on. And that to me is someone who is telling a story because they’re a storyteller – not because they’ve got a degree in English or a Masters in Creative Writing.’

Noughts & Crosses

‘Stop it! You’re all behaving like animals! Worse than animals – like blankers!’ Sephy is a Cross: she lives a life…

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‘First of all, she smashed it with the concept like that’s absolutely incredible… And the humanity of those characters, and the pain. I remember being devastated at the end of the first book.’

If you enjoyed this re-cap of Candice’s favourite books by women, listen to the episode in full here >

Make sure you subscribe to the Podcast now and don’t miss Zawe’s conversation with award-winning actor Claire Danes.

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.