The Women’s Prize Trust – the UK charity which enriches society by creating equitable opportunities for women in the world of books and beyond – tonight announced the winner of the 2024 Women’s Prize for Fiction (now in its 29th year) and the inaugural Women’s Prize for Non-Fiction. 

The Women’s Prize for Fiction was won by American author, V. V. Ganeshananthan, for her deeply moving, powerful second novel, Brotherless Night, which depicts a family fractured by the Sri Lankan civil war.  The book was awarded a LoveReading Star Book by Liz Robinson who commented on it's publication: "An unforgettably provocative and emotionally charged novel that delves deeply into a family torn apart by civil war." Liz commented that it is both beautiful and heart-wrenching, she recommends it with every fibre of her being.

The Women’s Prize for Non-Fiction was awarded to Canadian bestselling writer, global activist and film-maker, Naomi Klein, for Doppelganger: A Trip into the Mirror World; her urgent, illuminating examination of our polarised society. 

Both winners were announced at a ceremony in Bedford Square Gardens, central London, hosted by novelist, playwright and Women’s Prizes Founder Director Kate Mosse CBE. As the winner of the 2024 Women’s Prize for Fiction, sponsored by Audible and Baileys, V. V. Ganeshananthan received a prize fund of £30,000, anonymously endowed, along with a limited-edition bronze statuette known as the ‘Bessie’, created and donated by the artist Grizel Niven.

Winning the 2024 Women’s Prize for Non-Fiction, sponsored by Findmypast, Naomi Klein received £30,000 and a limited-edition artwork, known as the ‘Charlotte’, created by the sculptor Ann Christopher RA FRSS. Both were gifted by the Charlotte Aitken Trust. 

V. V. Ganeshananthan’s Brotherless Night took almost two decades to complete; her debut novel Love Marriage was longlisted for the Women’s Prize in 2009. This beautifully written story follows Sashi, a sixteen-year-old aspiring doctor, growing up in Jaffna in the 1980s. Her close family is torn apart by the onset of civil war, with two of her four brothers and childhood friend K ultimately joining the militant Tamil Tigers. Conflicted by what she can do to help, Sashi works as a medic in a field hospital for the Tigers and befriends a feminist, dissident Tamil professor who invites her to document human rights violations as a means of civil resistance. Brotherless Night vividly and compassionately centres erased and marginalised stories – Tamil women, students, teachers, ordinary civilians – exploring the moral nuances of violence and terrorism against a backdrop of oppression and exile. 

Monica Ali, Chair of Judges for the Women’s Prize for Fiction said: "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, Ganeshananthan creates a vivid sense of time and place and an indelible cast of characters. Her commitment to complexity and clear-eyed moral scrutiny combines with spellbinding storytelling to render Brotherless Night a masterpiece of historical fiction."

Monica Ali was joined on the judging panel for the 2024 Women’s Prize for Fiction by author Ayọ̀bámi Adébáyọ; author and illustrator Laura Dockrill; actor Indira Varma; and presenter and author Anna Whitehouse. 

Whilst Brotherless Night is a reckoning with the past, Doppelganger: A Trip into the Mirror World by Naomi Klein is an in-depth critique of the present day. By shining a light on the shadow world of social media – where facts are malleable, disinformation is prevalent and conspiracy theories abound – Klein captures the absurdities and dangers of the modern age, on a personal, social and political level. Doppelganger prompts us to rethink the moment we’re in, to reject fixed ideas about each other, and to forge a path to a more cohesive, inclusive and stable future. Klein’s expertly researched work exposes with searing precision how the ‘internet rabbit hole’ has created a polarisation in our politics and our culture, whilst offering a hopeful alternative to our collective crisis.

Professor Suzannah Lipscomb, Chair of Judges for the Women’s Prize for Non-Fiction, said: "This brilliant and layered analysis demonstrates humour, insight and expertise. Klein's writing is both deeply personal and impressively expansive. Doppelganger is a courageous, humane and optimistic call-to-arms that moves us beyond black and white, beyond Right and Left, inviting us instead to embrace the spaces in between."

Professor Lipscomb was joined on the judging panel for the Women’s Prize for Non-Fiction by fair fashion campaigner Venetia La Manna; academic, author and consultant Professor Nicola Rollock; biographer and journalist Anne Sebba; and author and 2018 winner of the Women’s Prize for Fiction Kamila Shamsie.

The Women’s Prize for Fiction – the greatest international celebration of women’s creativity – honours outstanding, ambitious, original fiction written in English by women from anywhere in the world. Set up in 1996 to celebrate and promote fiction by women to the widest range of readers possible, the Women’s Prize for Fiction is awarded for the best full-length novel of the year written by a woman. 

To read the full shortlist of fiction titles for 2024, view our feature.

The Women’s Prize for Non-Fiction, awarded for the first time in 2024, celebrates excellence in writing and research, strong and original narrative voices, and accessibility. This new prize – which has long been an aim of the Women's Prize Trust – was in part born out of research released in 2023 which revealed a growing pay gap between male and female authors, and a comparative lack of visibility for female non-fiction writers in the media and book prizes. Full statistics can be found on the Women’s Prize website. The Prize launch has been made possible thanks to sponsorship from Findmypast and the Charlotte Aitken Foundation, along with a generous one-off donation made by Jason Bartholomew, CEO of Midas Communications. Further funding – and a second commercial sponsor – is actively being sought for the future.

To read the full shortlist of non-fiction titles for 2024, view our feature.

Any woman writing in English – whatever her nationality, country of residence, age or subject matter – is eligible for both prizes. Books must be the work of a single author and be published in the UK between 1st April 2023 to 31st March 2024.