Lead story in Books

We review the contenders for the UK’s most prestigious award for fiction written by women

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Although not quite ‘global’, this account ranges from Saudi state religion to radicalisation

A hard-headed realpolitik now governs the battle for influence between China, the US and India

A woman wins an RSL prize, bringing poetry to normally male-dominated travel writing

In a prolific career, Roth’s acclaim was always matched by infamy

A debut novel about a girl who falls for a merman blazes with vibrancy

A woman’s dilemma over whether to have children or to pursue artistic freedom is the crux of this probing new novel

‘Self-hating Texan’ Lawrence Wright’s journey is a peace offering to his misunderstood home state

A study of the intertwined lives of sex workers and high society in Georgian London

A fittingly rambling work on journeys both personal and literal

From Syria to Ireland, the fate of three characters collides with mixed results

The story of the 1986 nuclear disaster is well told in this comprehensive account

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