Baileys’ Women’s Prize for Fiction – Longlist (and shortlist) 2016

Everything But The Girl takes on The Apprentice! It’s a pretty stellar judging panel over at the Baileys awards this year, with Margaret Mountford, Elif Shafak and Tracey Thorn taking to centre stage. Every year this prize just keeps on getting better, so hopes are high for this year’s vintage. Voici the 20 contenders culled down from over 170 titles, announced today and hoping to make it to the final six on the 11th April (see update below), before the grande finale on the 8th June:

A God in Ruins” by Kate Atkinson, 10/10, top, top book and even better than “Life After Life”

“Rush Oh!” by Shirley Barrett

“Ruby” by Cynthia Bond – SHORTLISTED 11th April

“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 – SHORTLISTED 11th April

“The Book of Memory” by Petina Gappah

“Gorsky” by Vesna Goldsworthy

“The Anatomist’s Dream” by Clio Gray

“At Hawthorn Time” by Melissa Harrison, read April 2016, a good read but suspect sadly forgettable over time, 8/10

“Pleasantville” by Attica Locke

“The Glorious Heresies” by Lisa McInerney – SHORTLISTED 11th April – read Aug ’16 – utterly fantastic and so far most worthy WINNER, 11/10…

“The Portable Veblen” by Elizabeth McKenzie – SHORTLISTED 11th April

“Girl at War” by Sara Novic

“The House at the Edge of the World” by Julia Rochester

“The Improbability of Love” by Hannah Rothschild – SHORTLISTED 11th April, read July 2016, 6/10, very disappointing

“My Name is Lucy Barton” by Elizabeth Strout, read August 2016, 7/10, not a patch on “Olive Kitteridge”

A Little Life” by Hanya Yanagihara, 10/10 – SHORTLISTED 11th April, wonderful and a book that stays with you indefinitely.

Now in the 21st year of the competition, this year’s theme seems to hone in on domestic issues, and Elif Shafak comments in The Guardian’s article this morning that many dealt with the past, “and how the past continues to live in the present”, with family also “a very important theme … Many of the books we read were taking a very complex look at family relationships, how complicated it all is, how children and the younger generations take on the burden of the past.”

I recognise but 6 of the nominees, so is going to be interesting when the shortlist is revealed, and truly hope to do as last year and have read all six of the Chosen Ones by June. Continue to be thrilled that women’s writing is celebrated in this way – bring on the next decade of Baileys and their quest to bring writers to ever wider audiences.

Image taken from here.
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7 Responses to Baileys’ Women’s Prize for Fiction – Longlist (and shortlist) 2016

  1. FictionFan says:

    Haha! Well, I’ve read precisely none of these, so I feel pretty unbiased so far… 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s interesting that this year the jury have picked so many less well known authors, and am intrigued to see which ones will go through to the short list. I’m always tempted to read novels by someone I’ve already read, which may be a good thing…or not. We will see!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. laura says:

    Ditto fiction fan! I’ve got a couple on my list and have just started Lucy Barton.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Denise says:

    I’m surprised that the Hannah Rothschild is on the list – it’s OK but pretty insubstantial. But a few big hitters here, I can’t see anyone beating A Little Life, as good as A God in Ruins is.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Denise, I’m already feeling very torn between the two (without having read the other 18 yet!) and think I agree with you – I also would like to root for A.L.L which hasn’t actually made the leap from Shortlist to major Prize Winner yet, so yes, I have a feeling this will be the one to get my vote as well. We will see…
      Thanks for the ‘heads up’ on the Rothschild. I know I won’t be able to read the Longlist this year but am hoping to manage the Shortlist when it is announced (another good reason for hoping Atkinson and Yanagihara go through, as that would be two out of six already accounted for!

      Like

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