Wednesday, March 2, 2016

2016 Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction Longlist Predictions

It's almost time for the most exciting day of the year (for me)! On Tuesday, March 8, the 2016 Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction 20-title longlist will be announced. Part of the fun is guessing which titles will make the longlist. Last year I correctly predicted only five titles. How will I fare this year? Check back Tuesday for my U.S. Reader's Guide to find out.

The Baileys 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, 2015 and March 31, 2016.

My Predictions
As always, there are far more than twenty novels I think could (and/or should) be longlisted. There were some tough decisions to make, and I certainly don't envy the judges! I chose a mix of debuts, books already listed for other prizes, books that seem to be under the radar, and books from former winners, shortlisted, and longlisted authors. I even included a 21st title because I just couldn't decide. Here are my selections, alphabetically by title:

  • After Birth by Elisa Albert (a 6-star read)
  • At Hawthorn Time by Melissa Harrison
  • The Book of Memory by Petina Gappah
  • Borderlines by Michela Wrong
  • Girl at War by Sara Novic (a 5-star read)
  • The Green Road by Anne Enright (shortlisted in 2012 for The Forgotten Waltz and longlisted in 2008 for The Gathering)
  • In a Land of Paper Gods by Rebecca Mackenzie
  • Landfalls by Naomi J. Williams
  • A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara
  • The Little Red Chairs by Edna O'Brien (longlisted in 2003 for In the Forest)
  • Mr. Splitfoot by Samantha Hunt (shortlisted in 2009 for The Invention of Everything Else and longlisted in 2011 for The Seas)
  • My Name is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout (shortlisted in 2000 for Amy and Isabelle and longlisted in 2014 for The Burgess Boys)
  • The Past by Tessa Hadley (longlisted in 2008 for The Master Bedroom and in 2011 for The London Train)
  • Spill Simmer Falter Wither by Sara Baume
  • Under the Udala Trees by Chinelo Okparanta
  • We That Are Left by Clare Clark (longlisted in 2005 for The Great Stink and in 2010 for Savage Lands)
  • The Words in My Hands by Guinevere Glasfurd
Now tell me: Which title(s) do you hope make this year's longlist?

Update: Find my take on the longlist in my 2016 Baileys Prize U.S. Reader's Guide.

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  1. I'm having so much fun looking at everyone's predictions. It seems that Girl at War, Fates and Furies, and A Little Life are on almost everyone's list. I'm particularly happy to see Landfalls on your list. I really enjoyed that book and wish it got a little more attention.

    1. I'm thrilled to see such love for Girl at War. It was one of my favorite reads of 2015, and I hope it makes the final list. I haven't read Landfalls yet, but I'm eager to--and it sounds like a perfect historical Baileys title.


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