A.M. Homes

A.M. Homes with her book "May We Be Forgiven," which won the 2013 Women's Prize for Fiction. (Ben Stansall / AFP/Getty Images / June 5, 2013)

American author A.M Homes has won the Women's Prize for Fiction with her novel "May We Be Forgiven." Homes was presented the award, which comes with a cash prize of close to $46,000, on Wednesday night in London.

Homes, who lives in New York City, is the author of two short story collections, six other novels and a memoir. "May We Be Forgiven" is a darkly funny novel of family, betrayal and forgiveness.

"May We Be Forgiven" was published in the U.K. by Granta Books. It's a spot of good news for Granta; recently its publishing house and magazine have been undergoing a very public leadership change.

Homes' win was not expected by some watchers; betting house Ladbrokes had Hilary Mantel and her novel "Bring Up the Bodies" as the odds-on favorite. Mantel's book is an international bestseller and has swept up awards on both sides of the Atlantic, but she has not yet won the Women's Fiction Prize.

The prize was founded in 1996 as the Orange Prize and operated under that name until 2012. Baileys will become its sponsor next year.

Six books had been shortlisted for the award. Two were by authors who had previously won the prize; the books were Zadie Smith's "NW" and Barbara Kingsolver's "Flight Behavior."

Also shortlisted were Kate Atkinson for "Life After Life" and Maria Semple for "Where'd You Go, Bernadette."

Previous winners include Ann Patchett, Lionel Shriver, Carol Shields, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and Tea Obreht.

ALSO:

Happy birthday, Richard Scarry!

Author Samantha Power to be nominated as U.N. ambassador

Buy the lady a drink: Baileys to sponsor Women's Fiction prize

Carolyn Kellogg: Join me on Twitter, Facebook and Google+