My wish list for the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction 2014

Before I write anything else I should apologise to Jackie at Farm Lane Books for stealing her idea. It was so strikingly simple that I wanted to do the same. I hope she won’t mind. The long list for one of my favourite awards, the Baileys (née Orange) Women’s Prize for Fiction, will be announced on Friday 7th March, International Women’s Day. Only novels written by women in English published between April 1st 2013 and March 31st 2014 qualify for the award. It’s always fun to guess what might be on a prize list but I’m restricting myself to novels that I have read with one exception: Siri Hustvedt’s The Blazing World which I will be reading for review here in the next couple of weeks and which I’m sure will earn its place. Jackie and I overlap on a few titles but our lists are quite different. So, in alphabetical order here’s mine, all but the Hustvedt reviewed on this blog:

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Any omissions you feel passionately about? Or any included that you feel don’t deserve to be there? Let me know what you think.

13 thoughts on “My wish list for the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction 2014”

  1. It’s a little difficult with the dates and eligibility, but I think Donal Ryan will be on there again, even though I haven’t read his latest book The Thing About December and perhaps Philipp Meyer’s The Son which I started but haven’t finished, maybe Kamila Shamsie’s A God in Every Stone, again I haven’t read it, but it’s on my list.

    Looking forward to the long list, that’s my favourite source of books I hadn’t known about and where I am more likely to find the kind of thing I appreciate.

    I wonder about the implication of publication date between the UK and the US, as that could make some books eligible for two years running, or is it just the UK publication date that is used?

    I have only read one on your list, but recognise many I’d like to read! Looking forward to the announcement and the season that follows it.

    1. Not to worry – I thought you might have had a ‘moment’! A quick look at the Baileys rules tells me that they use the UK pub date for qualification but the Shamsie’s outside the range, for sure. I imagine it will make it on to next year’s list if it’s as good as Burnt Shadows. I think the judges are going to have to make some tough choices. I’m looking forward to seeing what they are.

  2. You’re in for a real treat with the new Hustvedt (I was lucky enough to review it for The Bookbag recently). To your list I would probably add The Bird Skinner by Alice Greenway, Longbourn by Jo Baker, and Claire of the Sea Light by Edwidge Danticat.

    1. Oh, I’m so glad to hear that the Husvedt is likely to live up to my expectations – What I Loved is one of my favourite books. You’ve sent me scuttling off to look up Claire of the Sea Light which I hadn’t come across. I’ll add it to my TBR wish list – thank you!

  3. Steal away!! I love seeing everyone’s choices. 🙂

    Ghost Moth, Sedition and Things We Need are all new to me *heads off to look them up*. The others all look like good choices. I’d like to see ‘Dirty Work’ on the list as it raises many difficult questions. It is a great companion book to ‘My Notorious Life’, which I loved too.

    I’ve just finished the Husvedt and it exceeded my expectations. I’d be very surprised if it didn’t make the list.

    Can’t wait to see which books those judges select.

    1. Thanks, Jackie, and me, too. Dirty Work seemed to get less attention than I’d expected when it was published. I have a copy of My Notorious Life so must push it up the TBR pile. Roll on Friday!

  4. What about Anna Hope’s ‘Wake’? That seems to have had excellent reviews wherever I look? I’m glad to see the Catherine O’Flynn there. She’s done a lot of work with our creative writing students and is as nice an individual as she is good a writer.

    1. I dithered about Wake – it would make a perfectly good contender and I’ll be happy to proved wrong. Delighted to hear that Catherine O’Flynn is such a nice person. Mr Lynch was a wonderfully uplifting book – she captured the father’s puzzlement with his son, and the son’s with his father beautifully.

  5. Loved Burial Rites and I’m hearing great things about The Goldfinch. Loving the Sedition cover. Do you think I would like it?

    1. I think you would – it’s main character is a very clever seditious woman who wins several others over. There’s a review on the blog if you;d like to know more.

    1. Glad you like the list – I’m a passionate Helen Dunmore fan so would plump for The Lie but I did enjoy Wake very much. Looking forward to the judges’ list. I’d be delighted to find other books I’ve overlooked.

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