Donna Tartt and Margaret Atwood Vie for Book Award!

Margaret Atwood, Donna Tartt and Booker winner Eleanor Catton are among the novelists longlisted for this year’s Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction.

The award, formerly the Orange prize, honours women writing in English.

The 2014 nominees include four British writers and seven US authors, as well as novelists from countries including Ireland, Canada and Nigeria.

Judge Helen Fraser called the 20-strong longlist “intensely readable, gripping, intelligent and surprising”.

“The judges feel that this is a fantastic selection of books of the highest quality… that you would want to press on your friends, and the judges have been doing just that,” said Fraser.

The judging panel, chaired by Fraser, includes Professor Mary Beard, newsreader Sophie Raworth and columnist and author Caitlin Moran.

Tartt’s The Goldfinch is her third novel. The American author won international fame with her 1992 debut The Secret History.

Canadian novelist Margaret Atwood is longlisted for her fourteenth book, Maddaddam, while New Zealand-born Catton’s second novel The Luminaries won the Booker prize in October 2013.

The list also includes two previous Orange Prize winners: Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, shortlisted for Americanah and US author Suzanne Berne, for The Dogs of Littlefield.

Fatima Bhutto, niece of the late Pakistani prime minister Benazir Bhutto, is longlisted for her debut novel The Shadow Of The Crescent Moon.

Also in the running is The Strangler Vine, the debut novel from MJ Carter, who has previously written biographies under the pseudonym Miranda Carter.

Other debuts on the longlist include Lea Carpenter’s Eleven Days, Hannah Kent’s Burial Rites, Audrey Magee’s The Undertaking and Eimear McBride’s A Girl is A Half-Formed Thing.

Last year saw US author AM Homes beat the double Booker-winning author Hilary Mantel to the prize with her satire May We Be Forgiven.

Homes became the fifth American writer in a row to win the £30,000 annual prize. The last British author to win was Rose Tremain, for The Road Home, in 2008.

Liqueur company Baileys took over sponsorship of the award last year. The prize was founded in 1996, and was sponsored by communications company Orange until 2012.

The shortlist will be announced on 7 April, and the winner revealed at London’s Royal Festival Hall on 4 June.