The Women’s Prize for Fiction longlist has been announced today. The 16 titles are:
H(A)PPY by Nicola Barker
The Idiot by Elif Batuman
Three Things About Elsie by Joanna Cannon
Miss Burma by Charmaine Craig
Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan
The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock by Imogen Hermes Gowar
Sight by Jessie Greengrass
Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
When I Hit You: Or, A Portrait of the Writer as a Young Wife by Meena Kandasamy
Elmet by Fiona Mozley
The Ministry of Utmost Happiness by Arundhati Roy
See What I Have Done by Sarah Schmidt
A Boy in Winter by Rachel Seiffert
Home Fire by Kamila Shamsie
The Trick to Time by Kit de Waal
Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward
Of the 13 books I mentioned in my predictions post last Sunday, five are on the longlist which is a pretty good result, two of which I have read. I am particularly keen to read ‘Sight’ and ‘Sing, Unburied, Sing’ based on the unanimously positive reviews I have read. Once again, I’m surprised that Ali Smith isn’t on the longlist but she may well receive recognition elsewhere this year and we can never be certain which books have been submitted or called in for consideration (I find it hard to believe that ‘Winter’ wasn’t, though).
There are six debuts on the longlist and I am pleased to see Imogen Hermes Gowar and Fiona Mozley on there. However, interestingly, the less well-known books are not debuts this time. ‘Miss Burma’ is Charmaine Craig’s second novel based on the experiences of her mother and grandparents in 1940s Burma while ‘When I Hit You’ by Meena Kandasamy has received critical acclaim for its powerful portrayal of marriage and domestic violence. And congratulations to Nicola Barker who has been longlisted for the first time for her twelfth novel ‘H(A)PPY’. I included ‘H(A)PPY’ in my Man Booker Prize longlist predictions last year as Barker has been shortlisted for that prize in the past, but didn’t think to include it in my Women’s Prize predictions.
The shortlist will be announced on 23rd April. Which books on the longlist do you recommend and which ones do you want to read?