This year I kept a running Google document tallying possible contenders. I also went through the list of all previously longlisted books to search for new titles by those authors. When I pulled it out to whittle my list down to twenty, I was shocked to see I'd amassed fifty-nine titles. Narrowing the list was difficult, and I confess I've made a highly emotional predictions list. Faced with nearly three times as many likely contenders as there were spots, I decided to choose books I'd read and enjoyed and titles I'm already eager to read. Perhaps this year's list is more of a wishlist than a prediction!. Only two are debut novels (last year's longlist had nine debuts.) Links are to my reviews (if applicable.)
The Orange Prize is given to a novel written by a woman, originally in English, and published in the UK between April 1 of the last year and March 31 of the year the prize is awarded. Only the UK publishing date matters. This year, books had to be published between April 1, 2011 and March 31, 2012.
- State of Wonder by Ann Patchett (my favorite read of 2011)
- Next to Love by Ellen Feldman
- The Buddha in the Attic by Julia Otsuka
- Running the Rift by Naomi Benaron
- Gillespie and I by Jane Harris
- Silver Sparrow by Tayari Jones
- The Uninvited Guests by Sadie Jones
- Afterwards by Rosamund Lupton
- Doc by Mary Doria Russell
- When She Woke by Hillary Jordan
- Birds of Paradise by Diana Abu-Jaber
- Once Upon a River by Bonnie Jo Campbell
- The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller
- The Forgotten Waltz by Anne Enright
- How It All Began by Penelope Lively
- Half-Blood Blues by Esi Edugyan
- The Dovekeepers by Alice Hoffman
- There but for The by Ali Smith
- A Cupboard Full of Coats by Yvvette Edwards
- Lightning Rods by Helen DeWitt
Now tell me: what title are you hoping to see make the longlist Thursday?
P.S. Want to see the other titles that didn't quite make my list? The list is here.