A trio of Canadians are among the 16 authors in contention for this year's Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction, it was announced Wednesday.
The award – formerly known as the Orange Prize for Fiction – celebrates the best novel published in English by a female author over the course of the previous year.
The winner receives £30,000 ($49,000).
The Canadian contingent includes two Montreal-based writers: Heather O'Neill, who was a finalist for the prize in 2008 and long-listed in 2015, finds herself once again on the long list for her third novel, The Lonely Hearts Hotel, while Madeleine Thien landed on the long list on the strength of Do Not Say We Have Nothing, which won the Scotiabank Giller Prize last year.
As well, Margaret Atwood, a three-time finalist for the prize, is recognized for Hag-Seed, her offbeat retelling of Shakespeare's The Tempest.
The other finalists include Mary Gaitskill, Annie Proulx, and three previous winners of the prize: Eimear McBride, Rose Tremain and Linda Grant.
The Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction shortlist will be unveiled April 3, while the winner will be announced June 7.
Since it was founded in 1996, only two Canadian authors have won the awards: Anne Michaels, in 1997, for Fugitive Pieces, and Carol Shields, the following year, for Larry's Party.
Other past winners include Barbara Kingsolver, Marilynne Robinson, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Zadie Smith, Lionel Shriver and Ann Patchett.