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HomeNewsAsian American writer Ganeshanathan wins 2024 Women’s Prize for Fiction

Asian American writer Ganeshanathan wins 2024 Women’s Prize for Fiction

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Sri Lankan- American writer V V Ganeshanathan has emerged victorious in the 2024 Women’s Prize for Fiction with her poignant novel, ‘Brotherless Night’. This prestigious award includes a £30,000 cash prize and the coveted bronze statuette, known as the “Bessie.”

*Brotherless Night* intricately explores the devastating impact of the Sri Lankan civil war through the eyes of a divided family. Monica Ali, chair of the judging panel, commended the work, saying, “’Brotherless Night’ is a brilliant, compelling, and deeply moving novel that bears witness to the intimate and epic-scale tragedies of the Sri Lankan civil war. In rich, evocative prose, Ganeshanathan creates a vivid sense of time and place and an indelible cast of characters. Her commitment to complexity and clear-eyed moral scrutiny, combined with spellbinding storytelling, render *Brotherless Night* a masterpiece of historical fiction.”

Ganeshanathan, an accomplished author and educator at the University of Minnesota, also co-hosts the Lit Hub Fiction/Non/Fiction podcast. Her earlier novel, *Love Marriage*, was longlisted for the Women’s Prize in 2009. Earlier this year, *Brotherless Night* was honoured with the Carol Shields Prize for Fiction.

Raised in Maryland, Ganeshanathan’s narrative voice is deeply influenced by her Sri Lankan heritage and her parents’ journey to the United States in the 1970s, spurred by professional opportunities and political turmoil in their homeland. She grew up immersed in the rich cultural stories of Sri Lanka and American classics like *Anne of Green Gables*.

Beyond her literary achievements, Ganeshanathan has played a significant role in promoting South Asian voices and narratives. She has served as vice president of the South Asian Journalists Association and actively contributed to various cultural and

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literary organisations, including the American Institute for Sri Lankan Studies and the Minnesota Prison Writing Workshop.

In a notable addition to this year’s awards, the inaugural Women’s Prize for Non-Fiction was bestowed upon Naomi Klein for her insightful book, *Doppelganger: A Trip into the Mirror World*. Klein was awarded a £30,000 prize and the “Charlotte” artwork for her exploration of contemporary political polarisation.

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