My wish list for the Women’s Prize for Fiction 2018

The longlist for the only UK award that really excites me these days, The Women’s Prize for Fiction, is due to be announced next Thursday. Only novels written by women in English published between April 1st 2017 and March 31st 2018 qualify. Over the past few years I’ve failed miserably in my suggestions but truth be told I’d much rather indulge myself with a fantasy list rather than speculate as to what the judges think. What follows, then, is entirely subjective, wishes rather than predictions. The judges are restricted to twelve on their longlist but given that this is my indulgence I’ve decided to ignore that and include two extra that I couldn’t bear to drop. I’ve followed the same format as 2017, 2016 and 2015, limiting myself to novels that I’ve read with a link to a full review on this blog. So, in no particular order here’s my wish list for the 2018 Women’s Prize for Fiction:

The End We Start From                   The Lie of the Land               Conversations with Friends

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Johannesburg                                        Home Fire                                   Sugar Money

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The Ninth Hour                                    The Life to Come                                 Sisters

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The Break                                                Asymmetry                  Miss Boston and Miss Hargreaves

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All Day at the Movies                           Before Everything

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I’ll be happy if even one of these takes the judges’ fancy. A click on a title will take you to my review should you want to know more..

How about you? Any titles you’d love to see on the longlist?

42 thoughts on “My wish list for the Women’s Prize for Fiction 2018

  1. whatcathyreadnext

    I think you have a good chance with some of those. I haven’t read any of them but, just based on reviews and buzz, I’d say Asymmetry, Home Fires and Conversations with Friends are likely to make it. I’m so happy to see you include Miss Boston and Miss Hargreaves although, being realistic, I think that may have a better chance for The Walter Scott Prize long list due out on Friday.

    Reply
    1. Susan Osborne Post author

      Yes, that one’s definitely a wish but I couldn’t bear to leave it out. I suspect you’re right about the others, Cathy, but I’m often surprised to see what’s on it when the list is published.

      Reply
  2. Rebecca Foster

    I’ve read just two of your picks (Rooney and Malik), but would like to read all the others! Predicting prize lists is so hard — my mind always goes blank the moment I try to think what’s been published within a time period and fits certain criteria. But looking back at some of my favourite releases from 2017 (and checking the pub. dates), I wonder if we might also see appearances by Fiona Mozley and Celeste Ng. I also loved How To Be Human by Paula Cocozza, though I know you were less keen.

    Reply
  3. Claire 'Word by Word'

    So many I’m not familiar with, but Home Fire definitely and perhaps Aminatta Forna’s Happiness which is coming out in March. I’m not sure if I’ve read anything else that is eligible but I certainly look forward to seeing what will be on the long list.

    What are your favourites from your personal list Susan?

    Reply
    1. Susan Osborne Post author

      That’s a tough question, Claire, but I think I’d plump for Before Everything, The End We Start From and the Life to Come although I have a soft spot for Miss Boston and Miss Hargreaves.

      Reply
  4. Kate W

    I’m always a bit cranky about the overlap between the Women’s Prize and the Stella Prize – there’s only so much predicting and longlist/ shortlist reading I can do 😀

    Of those you’ve listed, I have a couple in the TBR stack but have read Sisters and Conversations with Friends. I thought Sisters was brilliant but might not be meaty enough to make the cut. Conversations on the hand… I reckon it will be there – it’s impressive and, more importantly, was really interesting. I remember feeling that Rooney had somehow managed to tweak the ‘infidelity story’ in a new way.

    Reply
    1. Susan Osborne Post author

      That’s one of the other prizes I look out for along with the Scotiabank Giller. I’m sure you’re right about both Sisters and Convesarations which has already won one award.

      Reply
  5. janetemson

    I’ve read Before Everything and Miss Boston and Miss Hargreaves and I have Fiona Kidman’s to read. I’ll be interested to see if any of your picks are on the list.

    Reply
  6. Elena

    I haven’t read any of these, but many are on my TBR pile. Conversations with Friends has been one of those polarizing books that my favorite bloggers either love or hate, so I’m very curious to see how I receive it.

    Reply
    1. Susan Osborne Post author

      It’s interesting, isn’t it. I’d say that Conversations is aimed much more at your generation than mine but I thought it was excellent. One of those books that grows on you.

      Reply
  7. buriedinprint

    Oh, yes, we could just go with your list. Very nice. 🙂

    If I were to slip a couple of others into that stack, I’d suggest Eden Robinson’s Son of a Trickster and Jesmyn Ward’s Sing, Unburied, Sing. Maybe Claire Cameron’s The Neanderthal would make an interesting addition to the list; she does what she does rather well.

    And you already know that I love The Break too and hope for many many readers for that story. (I don’t know if the others I’ve mentioned are eligible; they’re all 2017 publication dates in Canada, but as to international rights, I’m not sure.)

    Reply
    1. Susan Osborne Post author

      Thank you. Let’s do that then! I think the Ward would be eligible but the other two don’t look as if they’re published here – yet. The Cameron may make it into print here as I see The Bear was longlisted for the prize. Thanks for alerting me to them, and fingers crossed for The Break.

      Reply
      1. buriedinprint

        I had forgotten that The Bear was longlisted! Then I think it would have a chance (once published) as the agency she affords her female characters is worth considering. I’m not sure she’s a match for your reading taste (or the others either, for that matter) but I think they’d add something to the longlist. I used to follow this prize much more closely; maybe this year I’ll get back into the swing of it!

        Reply
  8. Rachel

    Just finished Conversations with Friends and not at all impressed. Don’t get the hype. By the end I just didn’t care about any of them. But Home Fires I enjoyed and the Amanda Craig.

    Reply
    1. Susan Osborne Post author

      I wasn’t at all sure about Conversations to begin with but it grew on me. Home Fire was the only one that the judges and I agreed on which fits with past years’ performance!

      Reply

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