The Women’s Prize for Fiction 2019 longlist was announced earlier this week. The 16 nominated books are:
The Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker
Remembered by Yvonne Battle-Felton
My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite
The Pisces by Melissa Broder
Milkman by Anna Burns
Freshwater by Akwaeke Emezi
Ordinary People by Diana Evans
Swan Song by Kelleigh Greenberg-Jephcott
An American Marriage by Tayari Jones
Number One Chinese Restaurant by Lilian Li
Bottled Goods by Sophie van Llewyn
Lost Children Archive by Valeria Luiselli
Praise Songs for the Butterflies by Bernice L McFadden
Circe by Madeline Miller
Ghost Wall by Sarah Moss
Normal People by Sally Rooney
I didn’t post a list of predictions for the prize this year, but I would have mentioned ‘Ghost Wall’ by Sarah Moss and ‘Normal People’ by Sally Rooney as two of my preferences – they are also the only two on the list I have read. Apparently Kate Atkinson and Ali Smith no longer have their books submitted to literary awards for consideration otherwise I would have liked to see ‘Transcription’ or ‘Spring’ which is out later this month.
There is a fair amount of overlap with other prizes this year. Madeline Miller has been longlisted for ‘Circe’ having won the Prize in 2011 for her debut novel The Song of Achilles. ‘Freshwater’ by Akwaeke Emezi is also on the Wellcome Book Prize longlist and is the first book by a non-binary trans author to be longlisted for the prize and last year’s Man Booker Prize winner ‘Milkman’ by Anna Burns is there too.
Elsewhere, I like the sound of ‘Number One Chinese Restaurant’ by Lilian Li – a comic novel which I hadn’t heard of before about the Chinese immigrant community in Maryland and ‘Ordinary People’ by Diana Evans about two unhappily married couples in L0ndon. Even though I found Valeria Luiselli’s novella Faces in the Crowd to be a bit too abstract for my taste, I’m intrigued by her English language debut ‘Lost Children Archive’ about a road trip across the United States and the plight of those trying to cross the Mexico-US border.
Which longlisted books have you read and which ones are you keen to read?