Keen as ever to celebrate the parallel pleasures of alcohol and fiction, the Baileys Prize will once again follow this year’s shortlist announcement with a five-day mini festival in London.
The Baileys Prize Pop-Up Book Bar will be held at Waterstones in Tottenham Court Road from April 3 to 7, and feature all the entertainment one would expect from the marriage of a reputed literary prize, with Irish liqueur. That is: readings, panel discussions, and a constant stream of likeable cocktails—all set in the kind modern chic one usually eyes enviously in Williams Sonoma catalogues.
Highlights include daily lunchtime performances by actors Tori Allen-Martin and James Rastall, who will read from each of the shortlisted works (the list being announced in the evening of April 3); as well as something of a crime fiction symposium, where bestselling thriller writers Val McDermid, Diane Wei Liang, Nicci Gerrard and Louise Doughty will be brought together to discuss the genre they love.
Meanwhile, the final event, held on April 7, at 6.30pm, will see 2016 winner Lisa McInerney talk about her work and her new novel, The Blood Miracles, before leaving judges “past and present,” to take to the stage with prize co-founder Kate Mosse to tackle the vexed question of what makes a “great book.” Good luck to them.
The Orange Prize—as it was formerly known—has, since 1996, been awarded every year to a full-length work of fiction written in English by a woman, and chosen by a jury composed entirely of women (this year, they are Aminatta Forna, Katie Derham, Tessa Ross, Sam Baker, and Sara Pascoe). Despite being a fairly recent creation, the prize has acquired a deserved reputation as something of a career maker; past winners include Eimear McBride (2014), Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (2007) and Lionel Shriver (2005).
This is the last year the prize will be partnered with Baileys, which means this is your last chance to experience the delicious pairing of cream cocktails and exciting new literature. More information HERE.