Baileys’ Prize for Women – ‘Now We Are 20’ : “Everyone’s a winner, baby…”

With 20 years’ worth of titles under the Orange/Baileys’ belt, from Helen Dunmore’s “A Spell of Winter” in 1996 to Ali Smith’s “How To Be Both” just earlier this year, someone on the Baileys’ team has come up with a dream of a marketing plan: pick your favourite from the last decade and let’s choose the most popular novel among the 10 most recent prizewinners.

A different member of a panel of illustrious women is also being briefly interviewed every day on Woman’s Hour between now and the end of the month, with the idea being that a judge from each year is being asked to champion the book of that particular vintage. Nice one.

November 2nd is the day of reckoning when Zadie Smith or Ali Smith or indeed Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie will pip the post ahead of A.M. Homes, Barbara Kingsolver or Marilynne Robinson. That’s quite a notable list.

Having promised I’d have read every single one of the 20 by the end of this year I’ve got my work cut out with 9 still to go, but if I really crack on I just might get the three that have still eluded me over the last ten years in the bag between now and the end of the ‘Best of the Best’ celebration. I think my money’s on “Half of a Yellow Sun” scooping up the prize, but that might all change between now and the end of October – and of course I may be completely barking up completely the wrong tree…

Post script December 2015 – should have put my money where my mouth is – as they say on Strictly – “The results are in”…

Image taken from here.
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7 Responses to Baileys’ Prize for Women – ‘Now We Are 20’ : “Everyone’s a winner, baby…”

  1. I’ve read 11 too! I\ve also decided my winner – ‘The Idea of Perfection’ which I absolutely love and which is not read or publicised nearly enough…

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  2. Thanks for the recommendation, on the TBR list but it’s true that you don’t hear very much about this author. Can’t wait to read it. x

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  3. I second The Idea of Perfection – a wonderful novel. I loved Bel Canto too. You’ve inspired me to try & read the (7) winners I’ve missed!

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  4. Right, T.I.O.P. just moved into the Top 10 of the TBR pile, thank you both. I really loved “Bel Canto” too.
    I’ve just this morning finished “The Road Home” and couldn’t put it down. Unlike some of the other prize-winning lists I’m finding the Baileys/Orange recommendations to be pretty well spot on, which is a pretty joyous thing. On to the next – am heading straight to “Home”…

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  5. Denise says:

    I’m currently in love with How to be Both, so it would have to be a good book to better that, but it looks like TIOP is worth a read! I have a lovely “How to write” book by Kate Grenville, it would be interesting to read some of her fiction too, but I’m not sure I have time, so I hope you read it and review it soon and let is know what it is like!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I agree with your prediction about Half of a Yellow Sun – I haven’t read all of the winners but for me, it’s definitely a novel which will stand the test of time.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Pingback: Baileys’ Women’s Prize for Fiction Best of the Decade OR “What a blinkin’ performance!” | Literary ramblings etc

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