Tuesday, March 8, 2016

The 2016 Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction Longlist: A U.S. Reader's Guide

The 2016 Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction Longlist is finally here! Longtime readers knows this prize, known for most of its history as the Orange Prize, is my favorite literary prize. The longlist announcement is always one of my favorite moments of the year, and it shapes my reading for the months to come. Last week I predicted the twenty-one titles I thought would make the longlist. I correctly guessed six of the titles. For the sixth year in a row, I'm offering my thoughts on the longlist along with information on when U.S. readers can access these titles (see my U.S. Reader's Guide for the longlists in 2015201420132012, and 2011.

The Ones I've Read

The Ones Available in the U.S. Now

  • A God in Ruins by Kate Atkinson
  • Ruby Cynthia Bond
  • The Secret Chord by Geraldine Brooks
  • The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers (available for Kindle now, coming in print July 5, 2016)

  • A Dictionary of Mutual Understanding by Jackie Copleton
  • Whispers Through a Megaphone by Rachel Elliott (available via Audible)
  • The Book of Memory by Petina Gappah
  • Gorsky by Vesna Goldsworthy

  • The Anatomist's Dream by Clio Gray (available for Kindle)
  • At Hawthorn Time by Melissa Harrison
  • Pleasantville by Attica Locke
  • The Portable Veblen by Elizabeth McKenzie
  • The House at the Edge of the World by Julia Rochester (available for Kindle)
  • The Improbability of Love by Hannah Rothschild
  • A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara
The Ones Coming Soon to the U.S.

  • Rush Oh! by Shirley Barrett (March 22, 2016)
  • The Glorious Heresies by Lisa McInerney (August 9, 2016)

My thoughts
I'm thrilled to see that of the three titles I've read, all were 4.5 or 5 star reads for me. I hope this trend continues and that this year's judging panel has similar tastes to me. Many of these titles were on my TBR. Most were on my longer list of predicted titles. There's nothing I'm suprised to see, which leaves me most surprised to not see Fates and Furies. Alas, I'll have to stick to rooting for it in the Tournament of Books instead. I'm also disappointed to not see Under the Udala Trees.

First up? Probably The Book of Memory or Pleasantville, both of which are currently sitting on my dining room table waiting to be read. 

The short list will be announced on April 11th. The winner will be announced June 8th.

Now tell me: which title are you rooting for? Right now, I'm rooting for Girl at War. If you haven't read it yet, I highly recommend it, either in print or on audio.

update predictions post

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  1. I have to read Girl at War and My Name is Lucy Barton!

    I must say I'm a little surprised to see The Improbability of Love on the list (I have a review coming this week) and just don't see it competing with these other works, especially considering Fates and Furies didn't even make it. I also wasn't a fan of Atkinson's God in Ruins (after loving Life After Life), but I guess it's all apart of the award process.

    Can't wait to see your reviews and the results!

  2. RUUUUUBBBYYYYY! Loved it even though it's brutal.


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