Here they are, the 20 books longlisted for this year’s Bailey’s Women’s Prize for Fiction. In alphabetical order (of author’s surname):
A God In Ruins – Kate Atkinson
Rush Oh! – Shirley Barrett
Ruby – Cynthia Bond
The Secret Chord – Geraldine Brooks
The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet – Becky Chambers
A Dictionary of Mutual Understanding – Jackie Copleton
Whispers Through a Megaphone – Rachel Elliott
The Green Road – Anne Enright
The Book of Memory – Petina Gappah
Gorsky – Vesna Goldsworthy
The Anatomist’s Dream – Clio Gray
At Hawthorn Time – Melissa Harrison
Pleasantville – Attica Locke
The Glorious Heresies – Lisa McInerney
The Portable Veblen – Elizabeth McKenzie
Girl at War – Sara Nović
The House at the Edge of the World – Julia Rochester
The Improbability of Love – Hannah Rothschild
My Name Is Lucy Barton – Elizabeth Strout
A Little Life – Hanya Yanagihara
My initial reaction is that the three books I thought were certs are all on there – A God in Ruins, My Name Is Lucy Barton and A Little Life. Very pleased to see all three.
I predicted six of the titles, which is my highest success rate ever! Very pleased to see Girl at War on the list as well as The Portable Veblen. I’ve enjoyed all those I’ve already read, which includes The Green Road which I haven’t posted my review for yet.
As for the rest of the list, I’m delighted to see Pleasantville – I loved Black Water Rising and have had the latest on my TBR pile for ages. I’ve also heard good things from people I trust about The Book of Memory, At Hawthorn Time and The Glorious Heresies.
As always with The Bailey’s Prize there are some books I hadn’t heard of before I saw the list. My absolute favourite part of this is reading those titles, there’s always one in there that surprises me with its brilliance. On looking through the blurbs, I can’t believe I hadn’t come across Ruby, it’s had so many fantastic reviews, and The Anatomist’s Dream is perfect for my PhD thesis so I’m very pleased it’s come to my attention.
I’m looking forward to getting stuck into the reading and debating the books with the rest of the shadow panel. I’m hoping you’ll join in the discussion on our blogs and Twitter too. Can’t wait to hear what everyone thinks of the chosen titles.