Women’s Prize for Fiction 2022: Longlist predictions

It’s my favourite bookish time of the year! I love following the Women’s Prize for Fiction, or rather I love what it does with my bookish corner of the internet. I am a bit removed from the blogging world currently but I will make an effort to change that while women’s prize season lasts. Last year I guessed only a few books correctly, but among them the eventual winner and that has got to count like five times. I am not planning on reading the longlist but I might try to read the shortlist, depending what is on there.

Here are my predictions, in no particular order. I have included whether the author was longlisted before or not because longlisted authors are basically a freebie for the publishers to nominate, additionally to the two spots they usually have.

Our Wives Under the Sea by Julia Armfield

Before anything else: I adore this cover.

Longlisted before: No.

Would I be happy to see it: Yes, actually. But mostly for other people. I am not sure it’s the book for me but many of my friends are excited for it.

My Phantoms by Gwendoline Riley

This is a book about a mother-daughter relationship that focusses on older people – and as such fits the WP to perfection.

Longlisted before: Yes (2017).

Would I be happy to see it: I have wanted to get to Riley’s work before and this has gotten rave reviews from people whose taste I trust, so yes, I would like the added incentive.

Matrix by Lauren Groff

This is the one I am most confident about.

Longlisted before: Weirdly, no..

Would I be happy to see it: Yeah, sure. I like Groff. Enough that I might even read this book about a nun of all things.

When We Were Birds by Ayanna Lloyd Banwo

This might be a stretch because it is magical realist in nature but there is often at least one book on the list that is at least slightly specultive and this one might be it. It focusses on parents and grief and this is always something the Women’s Prize seems to be interested in.

Longlisted before: No.

Would I be happy to see it: I am always here for speculative litfic – even if this sounds maybe a bit too hard hitting for me I would love for it to be included.

The Love Spoongs of W. E. B. Du Bois by Honorée Fanonne Jeffers

Another one I am fairly confident will make the list – and another one I would not read. The reviews are stellar and if you like the kind of sprawling multigenerational novel this is, it seems to be a brilliant one.

Longlisted before: No.

Would I be happy to see it: I am ambivalent, to be honest. I think it would be an interesting addition but it’s also very much not my kind of book.

Olga Lies Dreaming by Xóchitl González

This might be too close to the Romance genre to make it – but it’s also about sibling relationships and more importantly about maternal relationships and I am predicting another year with a strong emphasis on that.

Longlisted before: No.

Would I be happy to see it: I would, actually. I am always here for romance AND sibling relationships.

The Paper Palace by Miranda Cowley Heller

My colleague, who has always read more books who end up eventually longlisted, read this. So I am including it.

Longlisted before: No.

Would I be happy to see it: I have no opinion on this book but I want my gamble of including it to pay off, so yes, please.

This One Sky Day by Leone Ross

I have heard nothing but good things about this, another speculative litfic kind of book, this one dealing with change rather than family it seems, but nevertheless, a timely theme.

Longlisted before: Yes.

Would I be happy to see it: Yes!

Once There Were Wolves by Charlotte McConaghy

Another book focussing sibligs, this book set in the Scottish wilderness has peaked my interest but never enough so that I made the decision to pick it up.

Longlisted before: No.

Would I be happy to see it: Yes, very! I would like for the Women’s Prize to make up my mind for me.

Great Circle by Maggie Shipstead

Of the Booker nominated books this, fokussing on a female pilot who vanishing on her way to circumnavigate the world, sounds the most like a Women’s Prize book.

Longlisted before: No.

Would I be happy to see it: There is no way I would ever read this, but friends of mine adored it. So, I’m ambivalent about it making the list.

The Sentence by Louise Erdrich

I keep putting Erdrich’s books on my predictions lists and one of these days I am bound to be correct.

Longlisted before: No!

Would I be happy to see it: Absolutely! I want to finally read Erdrich’s writing.

The School for Good Mothers by Jessamine Chan

To paraphrase Rachel, I hear motherhood book, I think Women’s Prize.

Longlisted before: No.

Would I be happy to see it: No! Nothing about this appeals to me! I do not want to read about society’s ridiculous expectations of mothers

To Paradise by Hanya Yanagihara

This is THE book of the year. I do not think any other book will be equally buzzy. There’s no way I am reading it (I though A Little Life was.. fine) and the reviews have been all over the place but there’s no denying the discourse generating power of it.

Longlisted before: Yes.

Would I be happy to see it: I really do not have an opinion either way but I would like the endless discourse to stop, please.

Maps of Our Spectacular Bodies by Maddie Mortimer

This is a book about illness and if that isn’t timely than I do not know.

Longlisted before: No.

Would I be happy to see it: Yes, actually. I think this sounds really excellent but I would like to see some reviews before I embark on a cancer novel.

Cecily by Annie Garthwaite

I have hard literally nothing about this book – but it focusses and I quote on history’s “greatest unseen protagonist” and this just screams Women’s Prize.

Longlisted before: No.

Would I be happy to see it: Sure why not.

Holding her Breath by Eimear Ryan

This would not be predictions lists without a buzzy Irish debut.

Longlisted before: No.

Would I be happy to see it: Always.

There you have my official 16 predictions. I have left out some buzzy books (especially the new Rooney) and this is a debut heavy list but I am feeling good about it. Which probably means I am going to get two books max right.

Whch books are you most hoping for? Are you planning on reading the longlist?

Women’s Prize for Fiction 2020: Longlist predictions

It’s my favourite bookish time of the year! I have been looking forward to Women’s Prize season pretty much since last summer – and I have, again, spent a ridiculous amount of time thinking about the possible longlist. Last year, I correctly predicted two books on the longlist, so it can probably only get better from here.

I am attempting to read the longlist (something I did not completely manage last year) with my wonderful group chat (of those lovely people, Emily is the only one to have posted a prediction post already). I do hope to have better luck than last year where I did not love nearly as many of the longlisted books as I hoped (and where my two favourite books were ones I had read before). But even if I end up hating most books, I am still beyond thrilled to be doing this again. This time I am aiming to finish the longlist before the short list is announced; I’ll be on leave from work from the middle of April onwards and I have the week of the longlist announcement off, so chances are actually decent that I manage this (she says, having finished two books in February so far). Continue reading “Women’s Prize for Fiction 2020: Longlist predictions”