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Deepa Anappara’s ‘Djinn Patrol On The Purple Line’ Among 16 Books Longlisted For Women’s Prize For Fiction 2020

2020 marks the 25th anniversary of the Women’s Prize for Fiction (previously known as Bailey’s Prize and Orange Prize For Fiction) which was “inspired” by the Booker Prize of 1991. Not one of the six shortlisted books was by a woman that year. Women’s Prize carries a purse of £30,000.


In a statement on the Women’s Prize website, the chair of this year’s judges, Martha Lane Fox, said, “Ahead of the longlist meeting I was anxious that the negotiations between judges might be as arduous as Brexit, but it was an absolute delight to pick our final 16 books. Entries for the Prize’s 25th year have been spectacular and we revelled in the variety, depth, humanity, and joy of the writing – we hope everyone else will too.” Scarlett Curtis, Melanie Eusebe, Viv Groskop and Paula Hawkins were on the judging panel for 2020.

Here’s the longlist of the 16 novels: Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line by Deepa Anappara, Fleishman is in Trouble by Taffy Brodesser-Akner, Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams, Dominicana by Angie Cruz
Actress by Anne Enright, Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo, Nightingale Point by Luan Goldie, A Thousand Ships by Natalie Haynes, How We Disappeared by Jing-Jing Lee, The Most Fun We Ever Had by Claire Lombardo, The Mirror and the Light by Hilary Mantel, Girl by Edna O’ Brien, Hamnet by Maggie O’ Farrell, Weather by Jenny Offill, The Dutch House by Ann Patchett and Red at the Bone by Jacqueline Woodson.

A shortlist of six novels will be announced on April 22, 2020 and the 25th winner of the Women’s Prize for Fiction will be announced on June 3, 2020.

It’s noteworthy that Deepa Anappara was born in Kerala and worked as a journalist in India for eleven years. A portion of her debut novel, Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line, won the Lucy Cavendish College Fiction Prize, the Deborah Rogers Foundation Writers Award, and the Bridport/Peggy Chapman-Andrews Award. She has an MA in Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia, Norwich, where she is currently studying for a Creative-Critical Writing PhD on a CHASE doctoral fellowship.


Djinn Patrol… is about a nine-year-old Jai who “drools outside sweet shops, watches too many reality police shows and considers himself to be smarter than his friends Pari and Faiz. When a classmate goes missing, Jai decides to use the crime-solving skills he has picked up from TV to find him. He asks Pari and Faiz to be his assistants, and together they draw up lists of people to interview and places to visit. But what begins as a game turns sinister as other children start disappearing from their neighbourhood. Jai, Pari and Faiz have to confront terrified parents, an indifferent police force and rumours of soul-snatching djinns. As the disappearances edge ever closer to home, the lives of Jai and his friends will never be the same again.”

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