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School of Arts, Languages and Cultures

Centre for New Writing lecturer Kamila Shamsie wins Women's Prize for Fiction 2018

7 June 2018

Kamila Shamsie, Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing at the Centre for New Writing, has won the 2018 Women's Prize for Fiction.

Home Fire, which is Shamsie’s seventh novel, reworks Sophocles’ tragedy Antigone to tell the story of a British Muslim family’s connection to Islamic State.

Performance of Macbeth for school groups in the Martin Harris Centre's John Thaw Studio Theatre
Kamila Shamsie

The novel was acclaimed by judges as “the story of our times”. Sarah Sands, chair of judges, commented, "Home Fire is about identity, conflicting loyalties, love and politics. And it sustains mastery of its themes and its form. It is a remarkable book which we passionately recommend."

It was the third time the Shamsie had been nominated for the award, previously known as the Baileys Prize and Orange Prize.

The other shortlisted titles were:

  • The Idiot - Elif Batuman
  • The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock - Imogen Hermes Gowar
  • Sight - Jessie Greengrass
  • When I Hit You - Meena Kandasamy
  • Sing, Unburied, Sing - Jesmyn Ward


Author Kate Mosse, the founder of the prize, hosted the awards ceremony, which took place on Wednesday 6 June 2018 in central London.

The Women's Prize for Fiction is awarded annually to what judges consider the best novel of the year written in English by a female author.

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