Author Naomi Alderman takes fiction prize for 'brilliantly imagined dystopia'

2017 Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction - London
2017 Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction - London

Author Naomi Alderman has been crowned winner of the Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction 2017 for her feminist science fiction novel, The Power.

The writer's fourth major work explores the chilling idea of a world where women can choose to inflict pain on men with electric jolts through their fingertips.

It topped a shortlist of entries considered by a panel of five judges led by House Productions chief executive, Tessa Ross.

Alderman's victory, which was rewarded with a £30,000 prize and the coveted bronze "Bessie" trophy, was announced at a ceremony at London's Royal Festival Hall on Wednesday.

Oxford-graduate Alderman has picked up a number of national awards for her work and in 2011 penned the Doctor Who tie-in novel Borrowed Time.

She also works as a radio presenter, creative writing professor at Bath Spa university and has been mentored by acclaimed author Margaret Atwood.

Ross said: "The judges and I were thrilled to make this decision.

"We debated this wonderful shortlist for many hours but kept returning to Naomi Alderman's brilliantly imagined dystopia, her big ideas and her fantastic imagination."

The judging panel also included journalist Sam Baker, presenter Katie Derham, writer Aminatta Forna and comedian Sara Pascoe.

The award, now in its 22nd year, was hosted by co-founder and novelist Kate Mosse and aims to celebrate originality and accessibility in works written by women of all nationalities in English.

It has previously been won by the likes of Lisa McInerney for The Glorious Heresies (2016), Zadie Smith for On Beauty (2006), Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie for Half of a Yellow Sun (2007) and Lionel Shriver for We Need to Talk About Kevin (2005).

The ceremony also honoured aspiring novelist Georgina Roberts, who won the Baileys Women's Prize/Grazia First Chapter Competition for unpublished writers.