Detail: Patricia Highsmith by Harper & Brothers, 1942
© Patricia Highsmith Collection, Swiss National Library / Swiss Literary Archives, Bern

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Sarah Waters' first novels were set in Victorian London and were inspired by her Ph.D. thesis on lesbian historical fiction. Her novels have earned her many accolades, including the Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year Award, the Somerset Maugham Award, and Author of the Year in the 2003 British Book Awards. Fingersmith (2002) and The Night Watch (2006) were both shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize and the Orange Prize.

Waters's selection includes:


'...is a significant writer by any standard, but she deserves honouring as a lesbian and gay icon on the strength of one novel alone, The Price of Salt, a wonderfully complex and upbeat representation of lesbian love'

Sarah Waters