Thursday, March 6, 2014

The 2014 Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction Longlist: A U.S. Reader's Guide

The 2014 Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction longlist is finally here! Known for years as the Orange Prize, this is my favorite literary prize, and I always greet its longlist with a look at how U.S. readers fare when trying to track down copies of all twenty books (see my U.S. Reader's Guides for 2013, 2012, & 2011.)

The One I've Already Read:

The Ones Available in the U.S. Now:

  • Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozie Adichie
  • MaddAddam by Margaret Atwood
  • The Bear by Claire Cameron
  • Eleven Days by Lea Carpenter

  • The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton
  • The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert
  • Burial Rites by Hannah Kent
  • The Flame Throwers by Rachel Kushner

  • The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri
  • Still Life with Bread Crumbs by Anna Quindlen
  • The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
The Ones Coming Soon to the U.S.:

  • Reasons She Goes to the Woods by Deborah Kay Davies (September 9, 2014)
  • A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing by Eimear McBride (September 9, 2014)
  • All the Birds, Singing by Evie Wyld (April 15, 2014)
The Ones We Hope Make Their Way to the U.S. Soon:
  • The Dogs of Littlefield by Suzanne Berne
  • The Shadow of the Crescent Moon by Fatima Bhutto
  • The Stranger Vine by M.J. Carter
  • The Undertaking by Audrey Magee (not pictured)
  • Almost English by Charlotte Mendelson
My thoughts:
This longlist is long. Neither The Luminaries nor The Goldfinch are surprises, but both are chunksters that help make this the longest longlist since 2010. It would be impossible for me to read 7500 pages before the shortlist announcement on April 7th, but I do hope to read the nineteen titles I haven't read before the winner is announced June 4th.

With two former winners (Suzanne Berne and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie) vying with numerous literary heavyweights, plus several less established authors, this year's race will be a fascinating one to watch. I'm thrilled with the combination of expected titles and under-the-radar surprises.

I was able to get a copy of all of the titles coming soon to the U.S., as well as the five with no available U.S. publication dates, thanks to the Book Depository and Amazon's third-party sellers. While those make their way to me, I'm eager to dig in with the titles I currently have loaded on my Kindle (oh, e-galleys, I love you!) First up: I think I'll start with The Bear by Claire Cameron, which I meant to get to last month and didn't.

Now tell me: which title are you most excited to see on this year's longlist?

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8 comments:

  1. I knew somebody would do the homework, and find out what books were available here and now. thanks! Most books are pretty accessible, and some have been released for quite a while.

    I've read 2, Americaneh (good, but not as good as Half a Yellow Sun) and The Bear (good read, very emotional).

    Some long books on that list, The Goldfinch, which I just got the other day from a friend, and the Luminaries, which I can't decide if I want to read, The Signature of All things (501 pages) Are we going to read the long ones?

    I've got a few requested from the library now: The Burgess Boys (which I've wanted to read for a while anyway. I loved Olive Kitteredge) All the Birds, Singing (on order), Burial Rites (#11 on library list, it's on order) Still Life with Bread Crumbs (#14 on library list)

    I also have wanted to read The Lowland and The Goldfinch, and will eventually get to Maddaddam.

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    1. I'm hoping to read all of the long ones, even though I've been putting them all off because I am terrified of commitment and chunksters. I am really excited for The Signature of All Things because I've loved everything I've read by Gilbert.

      The other downfall is that I'd like to read Oryx and Crake and The Year of the Flood before Maddadam, which means 21 books to read.

      I'm glad my first pick (The Bear) is also one of the shortest--cheers to early feelings of accomplishment leading up to those chunksters!

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    2. I wholeheartedly recommend reading the other two Atwoods in close proximity to Maddaddam as you're thinking; I feel like that's what makes the crafting (not just the story, which is also terrific) stand out. Though I do think you could read either YotF or O&C first in the group of three if one calls more loudly.

      I'm kind of relieved to have this trilogy behind me so that I can focus on the other books on the list. This is the first year in which I've read a good number (7), so I am looking forward to the rest. But I'm doing a terrible job of it just now, as I seem to be reading in a dozen different directions at the moment. Some years are like that, right?

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  2. Thanks for breaking this down for us! I've read The Burgess Boys and Signature of All Things, and have The Goldfinch on my kindle. Hope to read Burial Rites, Still Life with Breadcrumbs, and The Lowland before too long.

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  3. I'm glad I've already got the longer ones under my belt! I was quite impressed with the selection and didn't feel they'd left out any major players. It was nice to see so many new-to-me books on the list - I just hope they are deserving of their place on the list. I look forward to comparing notes -)

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  4. I've only read The Signature of All Things, but I have Still Life with Bread Crumbs on reserve at the library. I also want to read Burial Rites, but given how cold this winter has been, I can't even think about reading something set in Iceland until I am warm again...

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  5. Ooh I'm reading Americanah right now!! I doubt I'll get to any of the others anytime soon though.

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  6. I love reading your yearly post on this award. I haven't read any of these books yet except for The Goldfinch but didn't finish it. I can't wait to check out the other books.

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Thank you for taking the time to comment. Happy reading!