Irish novelists Audrey Magee and Eimear McBride make Baileys shortlist

Prize for fiction is open to female writers around the world

Audrey Magee: in the running for a literary award for her novel The Undertaking. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Audrey Magee: in the running for a literary award for her novel The Undertaking. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Tue, Apr 8, 2014, 01:00

Two Irish writers feature in the shortlist for this year’s £30,000 Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction. The shortlist is dominated by first-time novelists.

The three debut novelists recognised by the judges are Australian writer Hannah Kent for Burial Rites, and Irish writers Audrey Magee (above) and Eimear McBride whose novels, The Undertaking and A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing , complete the line-up.

It is one of the competition’s veterans – American novelist Donna Tartt – who is favourite to win with her third novel, The Goldfinch .

She shares the shortlist with a previous winner, Nigerian novelist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie who is nominated for Americanah , and American Jhumpa Lahiri whose book The Lowland is also included.

Adichie won the prize in 2007 for Half of a Yellow Sun which has just been made into a film.

Helen Fraser, who chairs the judging panel that includes academic Mary Beard and newsreader Sophie Raworth, said they were “excited” by the shortlist: “Each one is original and extraordinary in its own way – each offers something different and exciting and illuminating.”

The prize was set up in 1996 and is open to female writers around the world.

The prize ceremony is at the Royal Festival Hall on London’s Southbank on June 4th.