Women's Prize For Fiction 2013: A.M Homes Wins With 'May We Be Forgiven'

The winner of the Women's Prize for Fiction 2013 is A.M Homes for her novel May We Be Forgiven.

The author collected her 'Bessie’ award statue and £30,000 cash prize on Wednesday night at a ceremony in the Clore Ballroom at the Royal Festival Hall, Southbank, London.

A.M Homes is announced as the winner of the Women's Prize for Fiction for 'May We Be Forgiven', at the Royal Festival Hall, London

The Women's Prize for Fiction 2013 (formerly the Orange Prize) was streamed live in the competition's first ever Google+ Hangout, hosted on HuffPost UK.

Homes is a contributing editor to Vanity Fair and writes frequently on arts and culture for magazines and newspapers.

She wrote and produced for the television series The L Word and is currently developing a major US TV series for HBO called The Hamptons. She lives in New York City.

Her Women's Prize-winning novel tells the story of Harry, a historian and Nixon scholar, who has spent a lifetime watching his younger brother, George – a taller, smarter and more successful high-flying TV executive – acquire a covetable wife, two kids and a beautiful home.

However Harry also knows George has a murderous temper, when George loses control the result is an act so shocking that both brothers are hurled into entirely new lives.

Commenting from the awards ceremony at The Southbank Centre, Miranda Richardson, Chair of Judges, said: “Our 2013 shortlist was exceptionally strong and our judges’ meeting was long and passionately argued, but in the end we agreed that May We Be Forgiven is a dazzling, original, viscerally funny black comedy – a subversion of the American dream.

"This is a book we want to read again and give to our friends.”

A.M. Homes, winner of the 2013 Women’s Prize for Fiction for her sixth novel, May We Be Forgiven, with Chair of Judges Miranda Richardson at the awards ceremony in the Royal Festival Hall, Central London

This year's shortlist made history - for the first time two previous winners of the Orange Prize battled it out for the prize.

American author Barbara Kingsolver won the Orange Prize for Fiction in 2010 for The Lacuna, and British writer Zadie Smith won in 2006 for On Beauty.

Kingslover's 2013 shortlisted novel Flight Behaviour tells the story of the discovery of a bizarre lake of fire and Smith explores the cheek-by-jowl relationships of neighbours in north-west London in her novel NW.

Other contenders included Life After Life by Kate Atkinson and Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple. Shortlisted author Hilary Mantel made headlines this year when she scooped the 2012 Man Booker Prize with Bring Up the Bodies, making her the only UK author ever to have won it twice.

Book covers of the Women's Prize For Fiction 2013 Shortlist

The judging panel for this year's Prize was chaired by the actor Miranda Richardson, alongside fellow judges Razia Iqbal, Rachel Johnson, JoJo Moyes and Natasha Walter.

The Women's Prize for Fiction 2013 judging panel (l-r) JoJo Moyes, Natasha Walter, Miranda Richardson, Razia Iqbal and Rachel Johnson

2013 marks the eighteenth year of the Women’s Prize, known from 1996 to 2012 as the Orange Prize for Fiction.

This week, the Women’s Prize for Fiction announced a new partnership with Baileys. From 2014, the competition will be known as the ‘Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction’.

Read our interview with Kate Mosse, chair of the Women's Prize for Fiction, on the importance of arts partnerships, the future of digital publishing and drinking Baileys.

Watch the full awards ceremony:

Women's Prize For Fiction 2013
Women's Prize for Fiction 2013 Shortlist