The Women’s Prize for Fiction Longlist 2022

The Women’s Prize for Fiction Longlist 2022
The Women’s Prize for Fiction longlist for 2022 was announced on Tuesday. The 16 titles are:

The Bread the Devil Knead by Lisa Allen-Agostini
Salt Lick by Lulu Allison
Careless by Kirsty Capes
Remote Sympathy by Catherine Chidgey
The Paper Palace by Miranda Cowley Heller
Flamingo by Rachel Elliott
The Sentence by Louise Erdrich
Build Your House Around My Body by Violet Kupersmith
Sorrow and Bliss by Meg Mason
The Exhibitionist by Charlotte Mendelson
The Book of Form and Emptiness by Ruth Ozeki
This One Sky Day by Leone Ross
The Island of Missing Trees by Elif Shafak
Great Circle by Maggie Shipstead
The Final Revival of Opal & Nev by Dawnie Walton
Creatures of Passage by Morowa Yejidé

I am pleased to see ‘Great Circle’ by Maggie Shipstead and ‘Sorrow and Bliss’ by Meg Mason on the longlist as these were among my favourite books of 2021. Some have expressed surprise that titles such as Beautiful World, Where Are You by Sally Rooney, The Fell by Sarah Moss and To Paradise by Hanya Yanagihara didn’t make the cut. However, while they are very good novels, I don’t think they are the best work to date by these authors, so it’s good to see more room for others this year instead.

I have read ‘The Paper Palace’ by Miranda Cowley Heller but haven’t reviewed it – it is a very strong debut, and it doesn’t surprise me to learn that Heller was Head of Drama Series at HBO for a decade, as the novel has the feel of a prestige TV drama in its emotional dissection of an affair during a summer in Cape Cod. I also have a copy of ‘The Book of Form and Emptiness’ by Ruth Ozeki which I am looking forward to reading soon, having enjoyed all of her previous novels.

Whereas last year’s longlist was dominated by well-known authors, there are several on this year’s list who are new to me. One of the five debut novels on the list I am particularly intrigued by is ‘Careless’ by Kirsty Capes, a coming-of-age story which draws on the author’s personal experiences of the care system. I have also seen lots of positive reviews for ‘The Exhibitionist’ by Charlotte Mendelson which is about the family of an artist preparing for his latest exhibition.

Which longlisted books have you read and which ones are you keen to read?

6 Comments

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6 responses to “The Women’s Prize for Fiction Longlist 2022

  1. WendyW

    I have not read any of these, but I’ve heard of several of them. Nice to see some debut authors on here.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The only one I’ve read is Remote Sympathy by Catherine Chidgey so it’s good to see it make the list, I agree there are many on here that I haven’t seen reviewed or talked about, though I do wonder if that’s a factor of the distribution of ARCs, as even though many of the popular choices I may not have read, they are the books garnering most of the blogging review space.

    I’m intrigued by Careless too, and look forward to reading more about the lesser known titles as readers begin to share their thoughts on them. Build you house around my Body jumped out at me, it being set in Vietnam in two time periods, and discovering the author lived there for two years (her mother’s family fled in 1975) that experience will have added depth to the work I imagine.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve just started reading The Book of Form and Emptiness by Ruth Ozeki, and it’s quite interesting so far. That’s the only one I read from the list, but I’d love to read The Island of Missing Trees.

    It is super interesting that most of the writers are not super famous (at least not in my reading bubble), happy to see new names!!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I just finished reading the Ozeki! Marvelous book, and I hope it at least gets onto the short list.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I was so thrilled to see Sorrow and Bliss there – my favourite book the year I read it (was published in Australia in 2020). I’ve also read Paper Palace and Great Circle – wasn’t a huge fan of either of those.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. The only one I’ve read is The Final Revival of Opal & Nev which I really enjoyed. I’ll confess that, with a few excptions, most of the books on the list are new to me.

    Liked by 1 person

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