As I said in my Year in Stuff post at the end of last year, I’ve found the Women’s Prize for Fiction to be a great source for book recommendations, with the past two winners (The Song of Achilles and May We Be Forgiven) being two of my favorite reads of recent years.
One of the most prestigious literary awards in the world, the Women’s Prize for Fiction, previously known as the Orange Prize and currently called the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction (as part of a three-year partnership), “celebrates excellence, originality, and accessibility in women’s writing from throughout the world.”
The longlist was announced in London today, and includes these twenty titles:
Americanah, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (Nigerian)
Maddaddam, Margaret Atwood (Canadian)
The Dogs of Littlefield, Suzanne Berne (American)
The Shadow of the Crescent Moon, Fatima Bhutto (Pakistani)
The Bear, Claire Cameron (Canadian)
Eleven Days, Lea Carpenter (American)
The Strangler Vine, M.J. Carter (British)
The Luminaries, Eleanor Catton (New Zealand/Canadian)
Reasons She Goes to the Woods, Deborah Kay Davies (British)
The Signature of All Things, Elizabeth Gilbert (American)
Burial Rites, Hannah Kent (Australian)
The Flamethrowers, Rachel Kushner (American)
The Lowland, Jhumpa Lahiri (Indian/American)
The Undertaking, Audrey Magee (Irish)
A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing, Eimear McBride (Irish)
Almost English, Charlotte Mendelson (British)
Still Life With Bread Crumbs, Anna Quindlen (American)
The Burgess Boys, Elizabeth Strout (American)
The Goldfinch, Donna Tartt (American)
All the Birds, Singing, Evie Wyld (British)
The shortlist will be announced on April 7 and the winner on June 4.
Probably highest on my list to check out is Burial Rites by Hannah Kent, which I’ve had my eye on for some time as it takes place in Iceland, one of my dream destinations. Luckily, this one should come off of library hold just about the time my TBR Triple Dog Dare challenge is over. Perfect.
I’m also very interested in All the Birds, Singing and Americanah, both of which I’ve heard fabulous things about, as well as The Goldfinch, which I haven’t quite decided about yet. I will almost certainly read Atwood’s Maddaddam eventually, but I need to read The Year of the Flood (the second volume in the trilogy) first. Finally, I did try to read The Luminaries at the end of last year, but I just couldn’t get into it.
Have you read anything on this list? Are you looking forward to any of these titles in particular?