Last week the Women’s Prize for fiction’s longlist was announced and this year it is a very exciting and diverse one.
When the longlist was initially announced I considered reading the entire list, and to be honest I still kind of want to. But now I’m being a bit more realistic with my plans. I’ve already read two of the longlisted books, I plan on definitely reading another 9. So, I do still have ambitious plans but I think it’s doable.
Blue: Will Read
Green: Won’t Read Unless I Have Time/Makes the Shortlist
H(A)PPY by Nicola Barker: This is the only sci-fi novel. Described as a Post-Apocalyptic Alice In Wonderland in a world that sounds very Utopian and questions whether we would be happy in a perfect world. This one hasn’t got the best reviews but the premise is so intriguing I have to give it a go.
The Idiot by Elif Batuman: This is a very worldly book following a student at Harvard who is the daughter of Turkish immigrants, befriends a Serbian and a Hungarian and spends the summer teaching English in Hungry. I am interested in this one but it’ll be one I get to if I have time.
Three Things About Elsie by Joanna Cannon: This starts with 84 year old Florence who has fallen over in her care home and is waiting for someone to find her. Whilst she’s waiting she’s reflecting on her life and a secret she fears will be revealed. I’ve heard amazing things about this and was planning on reading this anyway.
Miss Burma by Charmaine Craig: This follows a family in Burma struggling to survive through war and colonialism. This sounds like such a layered story set in a part of the world I know little about. I do want to read this but I don’t think I’ll be able to as my library doesn’t have a copy.
Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan: This follows a women who’s working in a navel yard during the war in Brooklyn. I’ve seen some very bad reviews about this book but it does intrigue me so if I have time I may try it.
The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock by Imogen Hermes Gowar: This follows a ship owner who’s ship was sold for a mermaid. He decides to display the mermaid to earn back the money and this leads him into a social circle which will change his life forever. I’ve read and loved this. Very glad it made it to the longlist.
Sight by Jessie Greengrass: I don’t know much about this other than it’s a look into parenthood. I actually saw someone predict that this will win the manbooker so that’s definitely what peaked my interest.
Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman: My favourite book so far this year. This follows Eleanor who’s kind of an outsider and doesn’t fit in with her work mates. It’s about loneliness and breaking out of your shell. I love this book.
When I Hit You: Or, A Portrait of the Writer as a Young Wife by Meena Kandasamy: This is about a woman who marries her professor. He quickly becomes violent with her and treats her as if she is his property. This sounds like a tough read but one I definitely want to read.
Elmet by Fiona Mozley: This is about a family and how they struggle to find their place in a world they don’t fit into. I’ve been meaning to read this for a while now and I’m very much looking forward to it.
The Ministry of Utmost Happiness by Arundhati Roy: I don’t really understand what this is about. I’m sure I’ll only read this if it makes the shortlist but honestly the reviews don’t inspire me to pick it up otherwise.
See What I Have Done by Sarah Schmidt: A story that captured the worlds attention, this follows the murders of Lizzie Borden’s parents and is a fictionalisation of the events. This sounds very interesting.
A Boy in Winter by Rachel Seiffert: This tells the story of an increasingly occupied Ukraine and what happens when a local see’s Nazis taking Jews to a concentration camp. This one just didn’t capture my interest.
Home Fire by Kamila Shamsie: Following two Muslim families in the UK this sounds like a very current novel that I can’t wait to read.
The Trick to Time by Kit de Waal: This follows a doll maker. Each doll she makes is significant to her past, which we come to learn about. This is one I’m most excited to read.
Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward: Another that is about family. This is about the ugly truths of the american story. This is one of the more popular novels on this longlist I think and is one I’d definitely heard of before.
I know I’m being ambitious but a lot of the ones I am interested in quite short (under 300 page) and I’ll be taking part in a readathon early April. So, maybe it’s possible.
Let me know your thoughts on the longlist and what you’re plans are.
Thanks for reading,