Barbara Kingsolver has written a towering, deeply powerful and significant book. In a year of outstanding fiction by women, we made a unanimous decision on Demon Copperhead as our winner. Brilliant and visceral, it is storytelling by an author at the top of her game. We were all deeply moved by Demon, his gentle optimism, resilience and determination despite everything being set against him.
An exposé of modern America, its opioid crisis and the detrimental treatment of deprived and maligned communities, Demon Copperhead tackles universal themes – from addiction and poverty, to family, love, and the power of friendship and art – it packs a triumphant emotional punch, and is a novel that will withstand the test of time.
Louise Minchin, Chair of Judges
2023 Women’s Prize winner: Barbara Kingsolver!
Demon Copperhead is a heartfelt, gritty, poignant novel set in the Appalachian mountains in Virginia, USA. A reimagining of Dickens’ David Copperfield for modern times, it tells the story of the relentless struggles and triumphs of a young boy born into poverty as he navigates foster care, labour exploitation, addiction, love and loss, while grappling with his invisibility in a culture that neglects rural communities.