The Women’s Prize for Fiction announced the shortlist of six titles for this year’s prize, on Monday. The prize, founded in 1996, celebrates “excellence, originality and accessibility in women’s writing” to writers of any nationality and comes with a cash prize of £30,000.

This year’s shortlist includes Meena Kandasamy’s searing novel about an abusive marriage When I Hit You: Or, a Portrait of the Artists as a Young Wife and Kamila Shamsie’s remarkable book Home Fire, about what it means to be Muslim in the West today, as well as The Idiot by Elif Batuman, The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock by Imogen Hermes Gowar, Sight by Jessie Greengrass, and Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward.

The six titles have been selected from a longlist of 16 novels by a five member jury headed by journalist and author, Sarah Sands. “The shortlist was chosen without fear or favour. We lost some big names, with regret, but narrowed down the list to the books which spoke most directly and truthfully to the judges,” said Sands.

Past winners of the prize include Zadie Smith, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Madeline Miller and Ali Smith.