Tag Archives: Women’s Prize for Fiction

The Women’s Prize for Fiction Longlist 2019

The Women’s Prize for Fiction 2019 Longlist

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 Continue reading

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The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

The Song of Achilles Madeline Miller‘The Song of Achilles’ by Madeline Miller is a modern retelling of ‘The Iliad’ and won the Women’s Prize (then Orange Prize) for Fiction in 2012. Whereas Homer’s epic was told from the perspective of demi-god Achilles as the warrior hero of ancient Greece, it is the exiled prince Patroclus who takes centre stage here, having been a minor character in the original. In Miller’s interpretation of events, Achilles and Patroclus are inseparable childhood friends who later become lovers, and when the time comes for Achilles to fulfil his destiny, Patroclus follows him to war with the Trojans. Continue reading

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Sight by Jessie Greengrass

Sight Jessie GreengrassI haven’t yet finished shadowing this year’s Wellcome Book Prize shortlist but I have already come across a novel which has very strong potential to be on next year’s longlist of books which engage in some aspect of health, illness or medicine. I enjoyed reading Jessie Greengrass’s collection of short stories An Account of the Decline of the Great Auk, According to One Who Saw It and her debut novel tells the story of an unnamed narrator who is expecting her second child with her partner, Johannes. During her pregnancy, she reflects on her relationships with her mother who she cared for during her terminal illness and her psychoanalyst grandmother known as “Doctor K”. Continue reading

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The Women’s Prize for Fiction Longlist 2018

The Women’s Prize for Fiction Longlist 2018

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

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The Women’s Prize for Fiction 2018 Longlist Predictions

Women’s Prize for Fiction 2018The Women’s Prize for Fiction longlist is due to be announced on Thursday 8th March and I have been thinking about which books could make the cut. My predictions last year included the eventual winner The Power by Naomi Alderman which is satisfying but I also hope to be pleasantly surprised by the inclusion of some novels which are new to me.

For many years, there have been 20 titles on the longlist. However, there were supposed to be only 12 last year but the judges decided to increase their selection to 16. This year – who knows? Novels first published in the UK between 1st April 2017 and 31st March 2018 are eligible. Of those I have read, I would be particularly happy to see any of the following on the longlist:

Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng – I really enjoyed this excellent novel set in Shaker Heights, Ohio in the 1990s which addresses adoption, abortion and surrogacy.
Elmet by Fiona Mozley – last year’s Man Booker Prize dark horse blends ancient folklore and dialect with modern settings and political debates. Continue reading

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Larry’s Party by Carol Shields

Larry’s Party Carol Shields

Winner of the Orange Prize for Fiction in 1998, ‘Larry’s Party’ is the third book I have read by Carol Shields. I read ‘Unless’ a couple of years ago but didn’t love it, didn’t review it and now can’t really remember anything about it. However, I really enjoyed The Stone Diaries back in 2013 and ‘Larry’s Party’ is very similar in many ways – both novels are fictional biographies of “ordinary” people who live quiet yet complex lives. While ‘The Stone Diaries’ spans nearly the whole 20th century, ‘Larry’s Party’ is slightly more focused in scope covering a mere two decades of the life of Laurence “Larry” J. Weller, born in 1950 in Winnipeg to English immigrant parents. Continue reading

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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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The Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction Longlist 2015

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

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Outline by Rachel Cusk
Crooked Heart by Lissa Evans
Aren’t We Sisters? by Patricia Ferguson
I Am China by Xiaolu Guo
Dear Thief by Samantha Harvey
Elizabeth is Missing by Emma Healey
Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
The Offering by Grace McCleen
The Country of Ice Cream Star by Sandra Newman
The Girl Who Was Saturday Night by Heather O’Neil
The Bees by Laline Paull
The Table of Less Valued Knights by Marie Phillips
The Walk Home by Rachel Seiffert
A God in Every Stone by Kamila Shamsie
How to be Both by Ali Smith
The Shore by Sara Taylor
A Spool of Blue Thread by Anne Tyler
The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters
After Before by Jemma Wayne
The Life of a Banana by PP Wong

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#ThisBook

#thisbook

The Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction has launched a project to highlight the books written by women which have impacted our lives.

You can nominate your choice using the #ThisBook hashtag on Twitter. The top 20 will be revealed in July. Continue reading

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The Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction Longlist 2014

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

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie – Americanah
Margaret Atwood – MaddAddam
Suzanne Berne –  The Dogs of Littlefield
Fatima Bhutto – The Shadow of the Crescent Moon
Claire Cameron –  The Bear
Lea Carpenter – Eleven Days
M.J. Carter – The Strangler Vine
Eleanor Catton – The Luminaries
Deborah Kay Davies – Reasons She Goes to the Woods
Elizabeth Gilbert – The Signature of All Things
Hannah Kent – Burial Rites
Rachel Kushner – The Flamethrowers
Jhumpa Lahiri – The Lowland
Audrey Magee – The Undertaking
Eimear McBride – A Girl Is A Half-Formed Thing
Charlotte Mendelson – Almost English
Anna Quindlen – Still Life with Bread Crumbs
Elizabeth Strout – The Burgess Boys
Donna Tartt – The Goldfinch
Evie Wyld – All The Birds, Singing

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Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple

I have finally got round to reading ‘Where’d You Go, Bernadette’ by Maria Semple which was the only book shortlisted for this year’s Women’s Prize for Fiction that I didn’t manage to read before the winner was announced in June.  It tells the story of Bernadette Fox, an award-winning architect who lives in Seattle with her husband, Elgie, who works for Microsoft and their teenage daughter, Bee. For various reasons, Bernadette loathes Seattle and one day, she simply disappears, leaving Bee to compile a series of emails, letters, police reports and other correspondence in order to find her mother. Continue reading

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The Man Booker Prize: US authors to be considered?

The Man Booker Prize is certainly no stranger to controversy. However, reports that American writers will be eligible from next year onwards have managed to provoke even more debate than normal with many arguing that the Prize will lose its “distinctiveness”.  There has been no official comment from the Booker committee yet but changes are set to be announced later this week. Continue reading

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A. M. Homes wins the Women's Prize for Fiction

I have just watched the Women’s Prize for Fiction 2013 live stream broadcast on the Huffington Post website.  In the build-up towards the big announcement when Miranda Richardson said that the judges were looking for originality, accessibility and excellence, I thought: “It’s got to be ‘Flight Behaviour’!  Or ‘Bring Up the Bodies’!  Or ‘Life After Life’!  One of those three will definitely win it!”

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The Women’s Prize for Fiction Shortlist Readings

Last night, I went to the Women’s Prize for Fiction Shortlist Readings event at the Southbank Centre in London and it was every bit as awesome as I hoped it would be.

Over the last couple of months, I have read five out of the six books on this year’s shortlist.  In summary, ‘May We Be Forgiven’ by A.M. Homes was the most dysfunctional (i.e. my least favourite), ‘Flight Behaviour’ by Barbara Kingsolver was beautifully written, ‘Life After Life’ by Kate Atkinson had an intriguing concept which was handled very well, ‘NW’ by Zadie Smith had excellent dialogue and ‘Bring Up the Bodies’ by Hilary Mantel was an impressive interpretation of historical events.  Sadly, I haven’t had a chance to read ‘Where’d You Go, Bernadette’ by Maria Semple yet but I will try and seek out a copy in the future.

Anyway, this is my ticket for which I paid the princely sum of £6 (gotta love student discounts).  I also took my copies of ‘NW’ and ‘Bring Up the Bodies’ with me.

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Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel

I read ‘Wolf Hall‘ nearly a year ago and to be honest, I can’t remember a great deal about the actual content of the story and had to force myself to finish it.  Although the book was undoubtedly a quality piece of historical fiction, my main gripe about it was that there were too many characters and unless you have studied early sixteenth century British history in considerable depth then it is very hard to keep track of exactly who is who.  However, although ‘Bring Up the Bodies’ also has a large cast of characters, this instalment of the trilogy is set over a much narrower time period (one year rather than three decades) and the story of Anne Boleyn’s downfall is likely to be much more familiar to readers than Thomas Cromwell’s early years (at least it was to me anyway).  The fact that it’s over 200 pages shorter than ‘Wolf Hall’ also helps a lot. Continue reading

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NW by Zadie Smith

I gave a slightly mixed review of ‘White Teeth‘ by Zadie Smith last year.  I enjoyed it more than I thought I would but it did have a few flaws.  Over a decade after her first novel was published when she was just twenty-five years old, Smith now offers us ‘NW’, another ambitious and sprawling novel which focuses on four thirty-something characters – Leah, Felix, Natalie and Nathan – who all grew up on the Caldwell council estate in north-west London and find that their lives continue to overlap many years later. Continue reading

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Life After Life by Kate Atkinson

I recently read the first of the Jackson Brodie novels, ‘Case Histories‘, by Kate Atkinson which I thought was pretty good but not truly amazing.   Several other bloggers left comments suggesting that I might prefer Atkinson’s other stand-alone novels, particularly ‘Behind The Scenes at the Museum’ and her most recent work, ‘Life After Life’, which has been shortlisted for this year’s Women’s Prize for Fiction.  I am pleased to say that they were right! Continue reading

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