Tag Archives: Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction

Stay With Me by Ayobami Adebayo and The Dark Circle by Linda Grant

I have been reading two of the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction shortlisted books ahead of the announcement of the winner this Wednesday. I won a copy of ‘Stay With Me’ by Ayobami Adebayo via a competition on Twitter (thanks, Canongate!) and I recently bought a copy of ‘The Dark Circle’ by Linda Grant.

Stay With Me Ayobami AdebayoSet in Nigeria during a period of political turmoil in the 1980s, ‘Stay With Me’ tells the story of Yejide who is married to Akin and has struggled to get pregnant after four years of marriage. Akin’s family decide that he must marry a second wife, Funmi, to bear the children that Yejide is apparently unable to carry. After a long phantom pregnancy, she eventually does conceive but the spectre of sickle-cell disease looms over the family. Years later, Yejide is due to attend Akin’s father’s funeral where she must face further consequences of past events. Continue reading

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The Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction Longlist 2017

Image result for baileys prize 2017 longlist books atwood

The Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction longlist for 2017 was announced today. The 16 books are:

 
Stay With Me by Ayòbámi Adébáyò 
The Power by Naomi Alderman
Hag-Seed by Margaret Atwood
Little Deaths by Emma Flint
The Mare by Mary Gaitskill
The Dark Circle by Linda Grant
The Lesser Bohemians by Eimear McBride
Midwinter by Fiona Melrose
The Sport of Kings by CE Morgan
The Woman Next Door by Yewande Omotoso
The Lonely Hearts Hotel by Heather O’Neill
The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry
Barkskins by Annie Proulx
First Love by Gwendoline Riley
Do Not Say We Have Nothing by Madeleine Thien
The Gustav Sonata by Rose Tremain Continue reading

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The Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction 2017: Longlist Predictions

Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction 2017Having had some success with my Man Booker Prize predictions last year with three of my choices appearing on the longlist, I have been thinking about possible contenders for the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction ahead of the longlist announcement on Wednesday 8th March.

As with my Man Booker Prize predictions list, I have been considering eligible books in terms of preferences and possibilitiesThere will be just 12 books on the longlist this year, down from 20 in previous years. This makes it much harder to narrow down my choices but my top personal preferences include:

This Must Be the Place by Maggie O’Farrell – O’Farrell’s seventh novel spanning across decades and continents is among her finest in my opinion.

The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry – a critical and commercial success, Perry’s second novel didn’t make the Man Booker Prize longlist and it will be surprising to many if it misses out on this one too.

The Tidal Zone by Sarah Moss – another book I hoped would be a Man Booker Prize contender last summer, I would really like to see Moss’s fifth novel recognised by the Baileys Prize judges. Continue reading

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The Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction Longlist 2016

This year’s Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction longlist was announced today. The twenty novels are:

A God in Ruins by Kate Atkinson
Rush Oh! by Shirley Barrett
Ruby by Cynthia Bond
The Secret Chord by Geraldine Brooks
The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers
A Dictionary of Mutual Understanding by Jackie Copleton
Whispers Through a Megaphone by Rachel Elliott
The Green Road by Anne Enright
The Book of Memory by Petina Gappah
Gorsky by Vesna Goldsworthy
The Anatomist’s Dream by Clio Gray
At Hawthorn Time by Melissa Harrison
Pleasantville by Attica Locke
The Glorious Heresies by Lisa McInerney
The Portable Veblen by Elizabeth McKenzie
 Girl at War by Sara Nović
The House at the Edge of the World by Julia Rochester
The Improbability of Love by Hannah Rothschild
A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara

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A God in Ruins by Kate Atkinson

A God in Ruins Kate AtkinsonKate Atkinson’s previous novel Life After Life published in 2013 told the story (or rather stories) of Ursula Todd who lives her life several times over in many variations with very different outcomes. Her latest book ‘A God in Ruins’ is a “companion novel” rather than a sequel which focuses on the life of Ursula’s younger brother Teddy. Spanning his life across the twentieth century and four generations of the Todd family, it draws on Teddy’s youth at Fox Corner, his wartime experiences as a pilot flying a Halifax bomber followed by later post-war years with his family. He marries his childhood sweetheart Nancy but has a strained relationship with their daughter Viola who shows little appreciation for the horrors Teddy witnessed when he served in Bomber Command. Continue reading

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A Spool of Blue Thread by Anne Tyler

A Spool of Blue Thread Anne TylerShortlisted for both the Man Booker Prize and the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction last year, ‘A Spool of Blue Thread’ by Anne Tyler tells the story of three generations of the Whitshank family during the twentieth century. The novel focuses on Red and Abby Whitshank and their four grown up children: the black sheep of the family Denny, daughters Jeannie and Amanda and adopted son Stem. Meanwhile, the story of how Red’s parents Junior and Linnie Mae met and married in the 1930s forms another significant thread of the family saga. Continue reading

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How to be both by Ali Smith

How to be BothNow that the shortlist for the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize has been released, I am taking a break from reading and reviewing translated fiction for a while. ‘How to be both’ by Ali Smith has been shortlisted for just about every major literary award in recent months including the Man Booker Prize, the Folio Prize, the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction and the Costa Book Awards as well as winning the Goldsmiths Prize and the more I have heard about it in recent months, the more I have wanted to read it. One half is set in fifteenth century Italy and tells the story of al fresco Renaissance artist Franceshco del Cossa. The other half is set in modern Britain and tells the story of a sixteen-year-old girl called George whose mother has recently died.  Continue reading

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