I am attempting to read the longlist of this year’s Women’s Prize for Fiction which is actually the only prize I can see myself even trying to do this for. I am no good at following TBRs and my reading has been heavily slanted towards Fantasy and Non-Fiction these last few months but I do hope to at least give it a good whirl. It is basically going to be a big buddy read with Rachel (whose prediction post you should definitely check out) and I am so looking forward to this.
I have spent altogether too much time on this list already (I started a draft post basically the minute the eligibility period started last year) and then spent the last three weeks narrowing down the list to 16 books. I have no idea if my predictions have any basis in reality or even if all these books are indeed eligible but still, the process has been fun. These are not all books that I hope will make the longlist but those are some that I think have a good chance of making it (some of these books do not sound like my type of book at all, so maybe I am hoping to be wrong).
The first batch are the big names, those that have been nominated for other prizes and/ or have received a fair amount of hype:
The Water Cure by Sophie Mackintosh (I read and loved this and do think its ambiguity would make a lovely addition to the list)
Everything Under by Daisy Johnson (this was my favourite of the books longlisted for the Man Booker and I adored what Johnson did with perspective here).
The Great Believers by Rebecca Makkai (while it does not quite sound like my type of book, it intrigues me enough that I would not be disappointed if it made the list – and it has been mostly positively reviewed)
The Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker (another of the many feminist myth retellings, I opted for this instead of the more popular Circe – it seems to be closer to the mythological heart of its story)
Motherhood by Sheila Heti (I just really want to read this.)
My Year of Rest and Relaxation by Ottessa Moshfegh (Moshfegh is an author I am super intrigued by and this novels seems to be her best book yet – and I love books with unapologetically difficult main characters)
Normal People by Sally Rooney (if this doesn’t make the list, then I don’t even know. I am currently reading her debut novel and adoring it without measure and I would love to have an excuse to read this next)
Women Talking by Miriam Toews (everything I hear about this book sounds like it would make the perfect candidate for the long list – plus, I have been so on the fence about it that it would be nice to be convinced one way or the other)
And the second batch are the rest of the books I can see making this list for no reason at all except for a vague feeling of them doing so.
The Old Drift by Namwali Serpell (a multigenerational family drama set in Zambia would make a good counterweight to my more conventionally Western first predictions)
The Binding by Bridget Collins (I do think that at least one of the longer historical fiction books will make the list and this one sounds like something I might actually enjoy)
Orchid and the Wasp by Caoilinn Hughes (this is on here purely based on gut instinct)
Permission by Saskia Vogel (I am beyond intrigued by the blurb and it is short enough to pack a proper punch in the way I adore)
The Pact We Made by Layla AlAmmar (another book based in myth, this sounds timely and important and might be absolutely stunning – it isn’t completely in my wheelhouse but I am intrigued)
The Fourth Shore by Virginia Baily (this is historical fiction set in fascist Italy – and this is the only reason it made my list but it’s also the one I would dread reading the most – I am not too keen on either historical fiction or WWII)
So Lucky by Nicola Griffith (semi-autobiographical novel dealing with disability and grief? This sounds like it could be a punch to the gut in the best possible way)
Where Reasons End by Yiyun Li (everything about this sounds brilliant)
I cannot begin to tell you how excited I am for the longlist – and for this wonderful time in the online book community when suddenly many people are reading the same books.
What are your predictions for the Women’s Prize for Fiction longlist? And which books do you hope to see on there? Are you planning on following the prize at all? Let’s chat!