My wish list for the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction 2017

I tend not to get caught up in literary prize fever these days but there is one for which I make an exception – The Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction whose longlist is due to be announced next Wednesday. Only novels written by women in English published between April 1st 2016 and March 31st 2017 qualify for the award. Over the past few years I’ve failed miserably to predict who the judges will select but truth be told I much prefer to indulge myself with a fantasy list rather than speculate as to what they might favour. This year there will be fewer titles on the judges’ list – they’re restricted to twelve – but given that this is my indulgence I’ve allowed myself three more. I’ve followed the same format as 2016 and 2015, restricting myself to novels that I’ve read with a link to a full review on this blog apart from one yet to be posted. In no particular order then, here’s my list of wishes rather than predictions for the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction 2017:

Idaho                                              The Cauliflower                          Sweetbitter

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The Gun Room                               The Crime Writer                       The Lauras

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Conrad and Eleanor                        Commonwealth                     Harmless Like You

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Our Magic Hour                                Swimming Lessons                 Another Brooklyn

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First Love                                          A Line Made for Walking           Birdcage Walk

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Who knows which of these, if any, will appear on next week’s list but for what it’s worth they’ve they’ve earned their place on mine. A click on a title will take you to my review for all but Birdcage Walk which I’ve read but not yet reviewed. Next year, of course, the prize will be called something else as it’s in search of a new sponsor: let’s hope they find one soon.

What about you?  I’d love to know which books you’d like to see the Baileys judges plump for, predictions or wishes welcome.

22 thoughts on “My wish list for the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction 2017”

  1. Interesting list, Susan. There’s a few on here I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see on the longlist next Wednesday. I’ve been hearing a lot about Idaho (I haven’t read it yet).

    Have you read Homegoing? I’ll be astonished if that isn’t on the longlist.

    1. Thanks, Naomi. I’d echo you on Homegoing but haven’t read it yet. Lots of people like you out there whose opinion I trust who love it.

    1. I would be more than happy to see either of those on the judges’ list, Resh. I think they may stand a better chance than some of my other wishes.

  2. Lots of names familiar from previous longlists: I’m keen to see who is chosen by the judges but also wholeheartedly support the idea of individual wishlists from non-jurors like yourself! 🙂

    1. Thank you! It’s a nice opportunity to look back over the year and give three cheers for all those talented women writers.

  3. I love seeing the predicted lists. Although it’s also a painful reminder of all the books I haven’t read. 🙂
    We’ve got First Love on next year’s Literary Wives agenda – excited about that one!

  4. Hooray! A few here that I’ve read and lots that I have waiting in my TBR stack Rogers, Down, Woodson and Baume). From your suggestions, my pick would be Commonwealth. For another Australian selection, I would like to see Charlotte Wood’s The Natural Way of Things (although not sure whether it qualifies in terms of dates – it was released in Australia well ahead of other countries).

    1. Oh, I remember the Wood being much talked about on Twitter – I think that was last year so perhaps the British edition would qualify. I loved Commonwealth and would be more than happy to see that win.

  5. I haven’t read any of these, but Idaho comes highly recommended by every blogger I trust. I also haven’t read The Crime Writer yet, which seems like a crime taking into account my love for crime. I saw some bad reviews of it though…

    1. It may well depend on whether you’re a Highsmith fan or not with The Crime Writer, Elena. I’d be interested to see what you think of it.

      1. I am neutral towards Highsmith. I haven’t read any of her works, but I’m not against starting now – actually my PhD supervisor in the UK is a huge Highsmith specialist, and I’ll probably make the most of my visit and learn about Highsmith.

        1. That should be very interesting. I now have a Highsmith working my way up the pile after reading The Crime Writer.

  6. I really, really tried to like Idaho. Before the Nazi’s moved in there was a small artists colony there and i spent two summer vacations there with my gr uncle/gr aunt–both artists. I just couldn’t get into it.

    1. Oh, I’m sorry to hear that. I found the set up intriguing but perhaps it helped that I didn’t know the area. Have you read Tara Westover’s Educated? It’s all over my neck of the Twitter woods which doesn’t necessarily mean it’s any good!

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