The Green Carnation Prize Longlist 2011

Sorry I have been off blog for a few days. Brussels completely relaxed me, though I didnt get as much reading done as I would have liked, and then I have come back to the whirl of books and been in the final discussions (through email, skype, phone, face to face meetings – you name it) and deliberating over the mass of submissions we had to make the Green Carnation Longlist 2011. So a drumroll please as here we have the thirteen books that have made this years rather diverse longlist…

  • By Nightfall – Michael Cunningham (Fourth Estate)
  • The Strange Case of the Composer and his Judge – Patricia Duncker (Bloomsbury)
  • The Proof of Love – Catherine Hall (Portobello)
  • Red Dust Road – Jackie Kay (Picador)
  • The Retribution – Val McDermid (Little Brown)
  • Purge – Sofi Oksanen (Atlantic Books)
  • There But for The… – Ali Smith (Hamish Hamilton)
  • Remembrance of Things I Forgot – Bob Smith (Terrace Books)
  • Ever Fallen in Love – Zoe Strachan (Sandstone Press)
  • The Empty Family – Colm Toibin (Penguin Books)
  • Role Models – John Waters (Beautiful Books)
  • Before I Go To Sleep – S.J Watson (Doubleday)
  • Why Be Happy When You Can Be Normal? – Jeanette Winterson (Jonathan Cape)

I am very pleased with the list indeed, despite a few of my favourites not quite making it through and I am looking forward to getting back to all the titles as the re-reading starts before the shortlist on November 2nd 2011. You can find out more on the website here.

So what do you think of the longlist? Any questions (I will try and answer any I can without breaking the submission clause) you have? Which books are you suprised to see on there, which are you surprised aren’t on there? Which have you read and what did you think? Any that you particularily fancy giving a whirl? As ever I would love your thoughts.


Filed under Book Thoughts, The Green Carnation Prize

9 responses to “The Green Carnation Prize Longlist 2011

  1. Roz

    A really interesting longlist, and I’m very impressed. A couple of immediate thoughts. First, it’s interesting and exciting to see a book of short stories and a book of essays on the list – but I wonder how you will measure them up against novels. Indeed perhaps that also applies to the autobiographies…? I was just trying to weigh Red Dust Road and There but for the – against each other (perhaps easier or me to do since I very recently went to a reading by the two of them). I loved both, but I would struggle to say one was better than the other. I will be interested to see how these outliers on the list progress. Second, without wishing to put focus too much on genres, I notice you have quite a few crime books on the list but – so far as I can see – nothing historical. In some ways that’s quite surprising given that my overall impression is that the two most popular genres for LGBT authors are crime and historical… Finally, if it had been me, Stranger’s Child would have got a place over Before Nightfall. I had much sympathy with your comments on the Hollinghurst recently, but Before Nightfall felt very flimsy to me – I read it in July and it’s already faded from my memory.

    But it’s a great list. And I REALLY want to rea the Jeanette Winterson.

    • Remember Roz that this list is decided by five people so everyone has to be happy with the list, some books miss out that two people may have loved over one that three really liked. I can’t really say more than that. Ha.

      Also, and I think I can say this, we didn’t get as many historical books as you might think to be honest. I was expecting more.

      I love the list, there are some books that need to convince me a bit more, but thats part of the interesting thing about the re-reading for the shortlist.

  2. Roz

    Ooops – I meant By Nightfall, not Before Nightfall. And i notice a couple of other typos. That’s what comes of typing on an iPhone in a hurry from a cafe in a Korean bookshop. Sorry!

  3. I have only read By Nightfall and I really enjoyed it. It was my first Cunningham but definitely not my last.
    I love seeing JW’s memoir on the list since I am a huge fan and I can’t wait for the book to be released 🙂

  4. Pingback: Putting A Voice To The Face/Blog/Prize… |

  5. Hmm – I’ve only read Before I Go To Sleep. Will have to try and hunt down some of the others.

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