The Orange Prize Longlist 2011

Even though there has yet to be an official announcement on their site it seems that The Guardian and The Independent have already announced, rather subtly, what the Orange Longlist 2011 is. I don’t think I am doing anything wrong in doing the same, though I also don’t think that Savidge Reads divulging what’s already out there in much wider read arenas already will make any difference. I tried guessing the Longlist yesterday (thought the post went up at silly o’clock this morning), do have a read, and you can see I did superbly badly in guessing only three (I will put stars next to those three, links to the ones I have read – all one of them – and italics under the ones I have in the TBR) of the titles, which are…

  • Lyrics Alley – Leila Aboulela (Weidenfeld & Nicolson)
  • Jamrach’s Menagerie – Carol Birch (Canongate)
  • Room – Emma Donoghue (Picador)*
  • The Pleasure Seekers – Tishani Doshi (Bloomsbury)
  • Whatever You Love – Louise Doughty (Faber & Faber)
  • A Visit from the Goon Squad – Jennifer Egan (Corsair)*
  • The Memory of Love – Aminatta Forna (Bloomsbury)
  • The London Train – Tessa Hadley (Jonathan Cape)
  • Grace Williams Says it Loud – Emma Henderson (Sceptre)
  • The Seas – Samantha Hunt (Corsair)
  • The Birth of Love – Joanna Kavenna (Faber & Faber)
  • Great House – Nicole Krauss (Viking)
  • The Road to Wanting – Wendy Law-Yone (Chatto & Windus)
  • The Tiger’s Wife – Téa Obreht (Weidenfeld & Nicolson)*
  • The Invisible Bridge – Julie Orringer (Viking)
  • Repeat it Today with Tears – Anne Peile (Serpent’s Tail)
  • Swamplandia! – Karen Russell (Chatto & Windus)
  • The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives – Lola Shoneyin (Serpent’s Tail)
  • The Swimmer – Roma Tearne (Harper Press)
  • Annabel – Kathleen Winter (Jonathan Cape)

I mentioned earlier that actually the less that I got right the happier I would be as it means a whole list of potential delights to discover. I am kicking myself for not going with my Emma Henderson guess and also did a real ‘doh!’ moment when I saw Louise Doughty as I have ‘Whatever You Love’ in my top 5 bedside TBR books. I could focus on the ‘grrr, why didn’t that one get on the list’ feeling a bout a few titles I had read but there are a lot of books to excite me on the list to.

The titles by Leila Aboulela, Carol Birch, Aminatta Forna, Tea Obreht, Karen Russell, Lola Shoneyin and Kathleen Winter are the instant standouts of the books I don’t own and would really like to read having just looked them all up very quickly on Waterstones website. There is a certain amount of ‘really?’ not because I think Tishani Doshi, Jennifer Egan, Samatha Hunt, Anne Peile and Roma Tearne deserve not to be on the list, they are just all books which have come through my doorway and then got lost in the only box that vanished on the move up north. Actually lets move on, I still can’t quite talk about that event as it gets to me a lot, though teaches me I should read faster maybe.

Will I be reading the longlist myself? No, because I don’t have them all, though there are a few I might see if the library has. For now though I will say I will try those titles that I have in the TBR and bring you my thoughts on them, and maybe any which arrive after, before the shortlist is announced on 12th of April. I don’t think I could read 19 books, remember I have only read one so far, in that time anyways, especially not the massive Orringer. Having said that though, I am going in for a big operation on my birthday next week, so there is lots of recovery time coming…

So what do you think of the list? Which ones have you read and are overjoyed to see on their? Any you have tried and didn’t quite get to grips with? Any books that you are rather miffed didn’t make it? What do you think about the official longlist compared to my rogue one? Any other Orange thoughts?


Filed under Book Thoughts, Orange Prize

17 responses to “The Orange Prize Longlist 2011

  1. I totally wish your guessing list had been closer to the result just because I own so many more of the books on that list 😉 Seriously though it looks fab and I’m well excited Annabel is on there as it was shortlisted for another major prize (and won the GLBTQ category of an online prize I was involved in). It’s a really good book, although I couldn’t possibly say if it will win as I haven’t read any of the other books on there yet.

    Swamplandia1 Just the setting sounds excellent.

    • Hahahaha, thanks Jodie, I was thinking the same thing but have been rather lucky as the letter box has seen rather a lot of the longlist popping through it! I am looking forward to some new and exciting reads!

      I think Swamplandia sounds brilliant too, its one of the only ones that sadly hasnt popped through the letter box I mentioned… yet!

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  3. luby12

    I ashamed to say I’ve only actually read Room at the moment, but it was such an amazing read. Can’t wait to read the rest 🙂

  4. I haven’t read any of them! And I wish I had read some, or owned some, because I’d really like to read them all before the prize announcement, but I don’t own any of them at the moment. We’ll see how I manage, but I think I had better give up my grant plan, because of low funds. I also doubt that my library has any of these yet. Ah, maybe wait until the shortlist?

    I do hope your operation goes well!

    • Thanks Iris, the operation is tomorrow and I have started to get very, very nervous. My library has a few but sadly not ones such as Swamplandia and a few others I don’t own. I might pop a request or two in though.

  5. Big, big fan of Great House and Swamplandia is up soon. But I am not a fan of Room despite it causing such a stir in the blogosphere.

  6. Went out and came back with four titles from the longlist to read soon. Read (like everyone) “Room” and have “Invisible bridges” on my shelf already… Would love to get some more titles, mainly “Great House”…

    PS. Someone is visiting mine using the link from this one – how very exciting! I am flattered! Come more often, comment, even that it is in Polish..

    • Which four additional ones did you get Dabarai? I have now got all but one of them and am slowly but surely trying to make progress with them all.

      • Well, as I wrote this some time ago, I have increased that number! I borrowed or bought some books and now have: Room, Invisible bridges, The Pleasure Seekers, The Seas, The Birth of Love, Great House, The Road to Wanting and The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives. Still want Lyrics Alley, also Repeat it Today with Tears started to look tempting, and Annabel… 😀

        PS. Good luck with your operation.

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