The Orange Prize Shortlist 2012?

I do like the Orange Prize, I really do. Last year I admit I did take that love a little bit too far by reading the whole long list. I haven’t done the same this year though, even though I was tempted a little for a small moment, you see last year was great but I did get a bit ‘oranged out’ at one point.  The shortlist is announced tomorrow morning and as I do it every  year, whether I have read the lot or not I am hazarding a guess at the final six which I would like to see make the cut…

Long term readers of the blog will know that I think ‘Gillespie and I’ by Jane Harris is one of the best reads I have had the joy of spending time with (more than once) so there is no surprise that I have that on my six without question. Ali Smith’s ‘There But For The…’ is a wonderful example of an author writing a great story which not only has deceptively much to say it also plays with words in a wonderful way. Whilst I haven’t reviewed it yet, I do think that Madeline Miller’s ‘The Song of Achilles’  is, please excuse the language, bloody brilliant, more on that very soon.


Out of the ones that I haven’t read I have picked three that I would really rather love to read (and have actually dipped into so I am not just going by blurbs and being totally 100% lazy ok). The first of those is ‘The Blue Book’ by A.L. Kennedy. This book looks like it is going to be a real treat as it plays games with you from the start, not only is the book not actually blue, the page numbers don’t always follow the natural numerical pattern and the book almost tells you itself in the first few paragraphs that it may beguile you and take you unawares. I have a feeling both Anne Enright’s ‘The Forgotten Waltz’ and Anne Patchett’s ‘State of Wonder’ will possibly make it onto the list, but I don’t fancy either of these so I wouldn’t mind seeing Esi Edugyan’s ‘Half Blood Blues’ (which is one of The Readers Summer Book Club titles) and Amy Waldman’s ‘The Submission’ on the list as I simply really want to read them.


I am sure I will be completely wrong, but expect some serious sulking if Jane Harris and Madeline Miller don’t make it ha, ha, ha. This year I think I might just read the short list whatever they are… we will see. What do you think will make it from the long list? Which of them have you read and loved?


Filed under Book Thoughts, Orange Prize

15 responses to “The Orange Prize Shortlist 2012?

  1. I’m not even attempting to predict the shortlist this year! I’ve managed to read 11 of the 20, and I am pulling for State of Wonder, The Pink Hotel and Gillespie and I to make it. There are several others, including There but for the I expect to see and think are deserving. Either way, I’m sure I’ll be surprised tomorrow!

    • Well I was definitely surprised by the short list. I am going to read a few of the ones that I haven’t so far and see if my mood changes but at the moment I want Madeline Miller to win, though I have a feeling it might be Ann Patchett

      • I’ve finished the shortlist now and would honestly be happy with any of them winner. It’s the first prize I’ve ever been able to say that, so that’s something. I’m still pulling for Patchett overall, but my dark horse second favorite shortlist read is Georgina Harding’s Painter of Silence. Regardless, this year’s shortlist is exceptional.

  2. I second Gillespie and I to make it. I don’t think the Emma Donoghue will make it.

  3. Jane


    I’m in N America and the shortlist has been out for several hours… It’s currently 7.55 Pacific coastal time. On April 16!

    Results are as follows:

    Edugyen, Enright, Patchett, Harding, Miller, Ozick

    Not sure how thisinfo got out as the website states that the announcement is due at 9.30am yourtime.

    So,no Harris.No Smith. I know very few people who have battled to the end of Half Blood Blues, and I know Patchett is dividing opinion.


    • I couldnt believe it when I saw this, I am blaming the shock for making me take so long to reply to you. It wasn’t my ideal short list but am interested to try some of the books on it.

  4. Col

    I couldn’t begin to make even a semi-educated guess about which books will make the short-list. However I hope ‘Gillespie and I’ will because I really loved that book and I wouldn’t mind if Half Blood Blues made it to the short-list because I almost loved that book! I’ve not yet read any of the others. But irrationally I’d bet on Ann Enright to be on the shortlist because I loved ‘The Gathering’ and I’d bet on AL Kennedy not to be on the short-list because I was hugely disappointed in ‘Day’. All of which proves only that I’ve no idea really!

    • You comment made me smile as I do the same thing as you sometimes Col and judge the author on previous works not the ones that they are listed for, however really you need to judge it on the books that are in the list. I didn’t like ‘Day’ but I think ‘The Blue Book’ is incredible from what I have read so far, very different books. You were right though, it didn’t make it!

  5. Sophie P

    Surprised that Roopa Farooki (The Flying Man) didn’t make the shortlist – her third listing in the last few years, and it ticked every box in terms of international, original and accessible fiction. Think Jane Harris (Gillespie and I) was robbed too. Have read a few from the shortlist – two by authors I usually love – and was a bit underwhelmed.

  6. David

    I really did plan to read some of the longlist (beyond the 5 I’d already read) but other books just seemed to call to me more in the end, so I’ve still only read 5 of them, which means I’d be hard pressed to predict a shortlist. But I’ll have a stab at it, just for fun, and say: Ali Smith, Esi Edugyan, Georgina Harding, Cynthia Ozick, Ann Patchett and Jane Harris. And I’m sure I’ll be wrong.

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