Guessing The Orange Prize Longlist 2011…

It seems that the day when the Orange Longlist is announced for 2011, which is today and will be in a couple of hours of this post going live I am sure, has taken a really long time to come around and then has suddenly swooped down on us fast. In fact I commented pretty much that very thing on Dovegreyreader the other day. You see I always think it gets announced in February and then there is a big lead up to June. I do wonder how my head works sometimes. Anyway… soon we will know what the twenty books that make the Orange Prize Longlist for 2011 will be, and so it’s my annual Orange Prize guess also known as ‘Simon shows how wrong he can be about women’s writing in the last year’ (see my 2010 guesses for more)…

Initially I started off getting competitive with myself over trying to come up with a list which contained the winning lot. Then I sat back and thought that seriously who else apart from the judges would know what these might be as the options are endless as are the books that could have been put forward. This year I went through all the books eligible, books written in English in print in the UK between April 1st 2010 and March 31st 2011, and came up with my twenty based on what I had read (in blue as you can read my thoughts), what was on my TBR/on loan from the library (in italics) and books I have been wanting to get my mitts on and haven’t yet (in bold – as a birthday, which is 8 days away, hint). So without further waffle here is the Savidge Orange 20 in alphabetical surname order to make it fairer…

Started Early, Took My Dog – Kate Atkinson
The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake – Aimee Bender
True Things About Me – Deborah Kay Davies

Scissors, Paper, Stone – Elizabeth Day

Room – Emma Donoghue
Theodora – Stella Duffy
The Cry of the Go-Away Bird – Andrea Eames
A Visit From The Goon Squad – Jennifer Egan (which I would have but it went missing in the move)

The Cookbook Collector – Allegra Goodman
We Had It So Good – Linda Grant
he History of History – Ida Hattemer-Higgins 
Mr Chartwell – Rebecca Hunt

The Report – Jessica Francis Kane

The Hand That First Held Mine – Maggie O’Farrell
The News Where You Are – Catherine O’Flynn
The Tigers Wife – Tea ObrehtDark Matter – Michelle Paver (which I would have but it went missing in the move)
The Fates Will Find Their Way – Hannah Pittard
Mr Rosenblum’s List – Natasha Solomons
When God Was A Rabbit – Sarah Winman


I did umm and ahhh about putting ‘Grace Williams Says It Loud’ by Emma Henderson on the list but I have seen that in the Orange Book Group displays in Waterstones (where I got the new Books Quarterly) so assumed that it would be off the list. I have it and will be reading it any way. I know that maybe Kate Atkinson is a random pick as its essentially a crime novel as I mentioned yesterday if Val McDermids latest is as good as ‘The Mermaids Singing’ that would be a welcome entry, I wondered also if Susan Hill’s ‘A Kind Man’ might be too short?

I wonder how I will do with this lot, can I bet my 8 out of 20 best from last year? In a weird way I hope I do the same as the last or a little worse, as one of the joys of a longlist is learning about the books you werent aware of. Which books would you bet on being in the list? Will anyone, sadly I don’t think I could, be trying to read them all?

I have of course updated the blog with the actual longlist now.


Filed under Book Thoughts, Orange Prize

12 responses to “Guessing The Orange Prize Longlist 2011…

  1. If I am to believe the Guardian, you got 3 right this time. I am surprised to not see When God Was a Rabbit on their list. Or well, many of the books you suggested. However, I know so little about contemporary fiction that I find it hard to judge whether books deserve to be on longlists or not.

  2. I am just glad that I have read three out of your list! most of the time I haven’t read any so I am chuffed that at least some of the good one are read.

  3. Pingback: The Orange Prize Longlist 2011 « Savidge Reads

  4. I actually like your list better and plan to read my way through many of the ones you’ve mentioned. The only one I though you might have picked up on frpm the official list, and one that I am itching to get my hands on, is The London Train. Have you read that one?

    • Thanks BryOak, am I allowed to say that I like my list better too? Hahaha. Actually the actual list I do find rather exciting, I have now read three of them and they are an interesting mix so far. I am starting with the ones that don’t initially do anything for me or that I know nothing about and moving through those first.

      I had heard nothing about The London Train, however I now have it!

  5. Lucy

    I hope you get the cookbook collector for your birthday, it is my read of the year so far!


    • I am not sure whether I will get The Cookbook Collector for my birthday, I havent asked for it actually so its unlikely, but its one I am keen to give a read for certain.

  6. Pingback: Come See Me in Cambridge, Oranges & Favourite Female Writers « Savidge Reads

  7. Sugar

    Your list is brilliant, and I’ve read far more of them than the official list ( just back from the library groaning under the weight of new TBRs!) Will endeavour to read as many as possible before the shortlist – and read at least the first 50 pages of all of them…

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