2021 Winner of the Women's Prize for Fiction
by Susanna Clarke
Piranesi's house is no ordinary building: its rooms are infinite, its corridors endless, its walls are lined with thousands upon thousands of statues, each one different from all the others. Within the labyrinth of halls an ocean is imprisoned; waves thunder up staircases, rooms are flooded in an instant. But Piranesi is not afraid; he understands the tides as he understands the pattern of the labyrinth itself. He lives to explore the house.
There is one other person in the house — a man called The Other, who visits Piranesi twice a week and asks for help with research into A Great and Secret Knowledge. But as Piranesi explores, evidence emerges of another person, and a terrible truth begins to unravel, revealing a world beyond the one Piranesi has always known.
The Women's Prize for Fiction (formerly known as the Orange Prize) was created in 1995 in response to a growing awareness that often the considerable achievements of women novelists were being passed over by the major literary awards. The Women's Prize for Fiction is judged exclusively by women, who choose the year's best novel in English written by a woman.