Women’s Prize for Fiction 2013 Longlist?

So tomorrow is the announcement of the first, yet technically eighteenth, Women’s Prize for Literature. As has become the routine in the last few years, I do love to have a go at guessing what books might be on it. This isn’t based on what people ‘in the trade’ might be thinking or any of that gubbins, though I love all the speculation, it is simply based on books I have loved, am desperate to read or simply think might be on the list, though I am sure I will be proven delightfully wrong once again this year and a million miles off in my guesses.

The first four of my guesses are some of my favourite books of 2012, well, those that fall into the submission guidelines, they are…

The Colour of Milk – Nell Leyshon
Tony Hogan Bought Me An Ice Cream Float Before He Stole Me Ma – Kerry Hudson
The Lighthouse – Alison Moore
The Age of Miracles – Karen Thompson Walker

Next up some books that I have read, or in the case of the Atkinson am reading, and am yet to review but have thoroughly enjoyed…

Life After Life – Kate Atkinson
Instructions for a Heatwave – Maggie O’Farrell
Past the Shallows – Favel Parrett
May We Be Forgiven – A. M. Holmes

Next up another four more books that are on the bedside table at the moment…

The Twelve Tribes of Hattie – Ayana Mathis
A Tale for the Time Being – Ruth Ozeki
Tell The Wolves I Am Home – Carol Rifka Brunt
Origins of Love – Kishwar Desai

Three more books that I am keen to read very soon and also one which I have been mulling over reading or not because of the Jesus factor, if it gets long listed will definitely read it…

The Palace of Curiosities – Rosie Garland
Tigers in Red Weather – Liza Klaussmann
Above All Things – Tanis Rideout
The Liar’s Gospel – Naomi Alderman

Finally a mix of four books that would cause some talking points if they were listed (well one would for me particularly)…

Bring Up The Bodies – Hilary Mantel
The Casual Vacancy – J. K. Rowling
Bitter Greens – Kate Forsyth
Gone Girl – Gillian Flynn

I am pretty much sure that Hilary Mantel is going to be on the list and, unlike the general consensus I have heard of late, I have no grumbles about that at all. It has been really annoying me that people are now laying into her, everyone was really celebratory of her Booker double, after winning the Costa Prize too. Surely great books of the year should be able to win as many book prizes as they are eligible for, no? I can’t be doing with all the gripers, yes I know too much talk can put you off a book but don’t be mean about it. Rant over.

As for the other three, well I don’t think many people are predicting that J.K. Rowling will be on the list yet I would be quite chuffed if she was – it would get people talking, the book deals with current themes and it might get me to finally read it which I have been saying I will for ages. If ‘Bitter Greens’ gets on the longlist I will be talking about it to everyone because it is the retelling of Rapunzel and we all know that is my favourite fairytale and I named my duck after her when I was four. I have just had this in the post and have been sooooooooo excited, I am saving it for some long journeys I have coming up. Finally, the Flynn, why not? It has been a huge seller, everyone has been talking about it and the twists and turns and characters, even if you love to loathe them, are great. Though of course it is a crime novel and so may be written off for that, it could be a dark horse though.

I know I have missed out some of the big hitters like Barbara Kingsolver, Tracy Chevalier, Aminatta Forna, Nicola Barker and Rose Tremain (who I now desperately want to read the works of as though Gran and my mother love her I haven’t but The Beard’s mother yesterday was raving about her and we seem to be on an authorish wavelength) but I wanted to have a different and varied list overall. I wouldn’t be upset if any of them were on it. I also debated ‘The Friday Gospels’ by Jenn Ashworth, yet didn’t think there would be two books with ‘gospel’ in the title, why I don’t know and ‘Red Joan’ by Jennie Rooney. I mulled over some other debuts like  ‘The Innocents’ by Francesca Segal and I couldn’t work out if Katherine Boo was eligible, though I really want to read it but then decided I just couldn’t second guess it could I?

Yet that is part of the fun isn’t it, the fact that no one could guess the longlist because there are so many eligible books that have come out in the last twelve months and we have no idea how many books have been put forward. Plus how dull would it be if we could guess? One of the things that is great about the longlist is finding a whole new selection of books and authors you have never heard of before and want to go and find out more about. I am getting even more excited about the prize now.

I will report back when the list is announced at some point tomorrow, I am hoping really early. In the meantime which books do you think might just make the longlist, which ones would you be particularly thrilled to see?

8 Comments

Filed under Random Savidgeness, Women's Prize for Fiction

8 responses to “Women’s Prize for Fiction 2013 Longlist?

  1. tortoisebook

    Hi Simon, what a great selection. I’d be very happy to see O’Farrell and Atkinson on there – I’m reading some vintage Atkinson at the moment (Case Histories) and thoroughly enjoying it. I don’t think Boo is eligible as her book is non-fiction unfortunately. And I was wondering about Rowling too – I’d love to see her on there if only to see a few feathers ruffled! Well done for your comments about Hilary Mantel. I too think she should be up there, isn’t that the whole point of the prize to recognise amazing writing by women? May the best book win…

  2. David

    Interesting list, Simon. I definitely hope Hilary Mantel and Barbara Kingsolver are on it, even though they are ‘usual suspects’. Zadie Smith and Pat Barker would both be contenders for me too. And I know you’ll hate this idea (ha!) but what about Emily Perkins? Glad to see you’ve got Tanis Rideout in there – I’d love her book to be on the longlist, even though it probably wouldn’t make the shortlist. Just looking back at the eligible books I’ve read in the past year (and the ones on my tbr pile) it ought to be a very strong longlist.

  3. Difficult for me to say since I’m French and most of the novels you mention have not been published here. Yet among those I’ve read, I don’t think Gone Girl and The Casual Vacancy are worth it. The Kingsolver and the O’Farrell are bought but not read yet. I’m looking forward to seeing the list.

  4. I would LOVE to see A Tale for the Time Being on the list, it is a stunning book. I will be gushing about it for months to come I think. I really want to read Bitter Greens (might break by buying restrictions for it) and quite fancy The Liar’s Gospel (I’m not religious at all but this sounds like the sort of god book that appeals to non-believers).

    I can see Heatwave being on the list. It’s the first of hers I read and her writing certainly stands out even if it’s not a favourite of mine.

  5. See, now that’s just annoying cos you made my amazon wishlist even longer:-)

  6. Would be great to see The Colour of Milk on there, tiny but so impactful. I met Nell Leyshon a bit ago and she seemed v. cool, first woman to write a play to be performed at The Globe dontcha know.

  7. Pingback: The Women’s Prize for Fiction 2013 Longlist | Savidge Reads

  8. Pingback: Women’s Prize for Fiction 2013 | wordsofmercury

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