The Baileys Women’s Prize Longlist 2016

The clock has not long struck midnight (well GMT wise it has) and so it is officially International Women’s Day. What more apt a day could there be for the announcement of the Baileys Women’s Prize longlist than today? As some of you will have read the team at the Baileys Women’s Prize are very kindly letting myself and Eric, of LonesomeReader, become part of the family with the Baileys Bearded Book Club so we will be reading all the novels we haven’t, as well as doing some podcasts in the lead up to the shortlist in the next month and then a whole host of other things after that. But onto the longlist which is what you really want to see, the longlist of which I have read just the three, so someone is going to be a very busy bookish bearded bloke for the next five weeks. Here they are…

8th March 2016: The Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction announces its 2016 longlist, comprised of 20 books that celebrate the best of fiction written by women

8th March 2016: The Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction announces its 2016 longlist, comprised of 20 books that celebrate the best of fiction written by women

So as I mentioned I have read three, those have links to them, and I guessed a whopping four. This happens every year and yet every year I feel more confident and look more foolish. I will type up some more thoughts on the list later today when I have let it settle with me a little more, it is just gone midnight after all. My initial thoughts are of excitement though, all those books I have yet to read, all those adventures I am yet to have.

In the meantime what are your thoughts on the 20 strong longlist? Which have you read and what did you make of them?

15 Comments

Filed under Bailey's Women's Prize for Fiction

15 responses to “The Baileys Women’s Prize Longlist 2016

  1. So so pleased A God in Ruins is on the list, I loved that so much. I’ve just started At Hawthorn Time so very pleased to see it there too.

  2. The only one I’ve read is A Little Life (yawn!). Want to read Rush Oh, Gorsky and The Portable Veblen, plus Kate A. There are also several titles I’ve not heard of, so I will explore them a little too.

  3. sharkell

    I have only read one – The Secret Chord – and it made my top ten reads for 2015. I have A Little Life on Mt tbr but that’s it. I’m disappointed Elemental by Amanda Curtin is not on the list as it is easily my favourite book I have read so far this year. I shall look forward to your reviews.

  4. David

    I’ve read five of them. ‘A Little Life’ and ‘My Name is Lucy Barton’ I saw as being “shoo-ins” for the longlist and would expect/hope to see them both progress to the shortlist, although I think Strout’s novel is by far the stronger of the two (in terms of being uniformly excellent from the first page to the last, which I don’t think Yanagihara’s – much as I thought parts of it were superb – is).
    ‘A God in Ruins’ is really very good, in some ways better than ‘Life After Life’, but for me there was some spark missing from it that stopped it from being a great novel.
    ‘The Green Road’ I wasn’t a fan of, but then I’m not a fan of Enright’s writing, having now read three of her books. I found its characters and structure very contrived and for me it never went beyond being well-written soap opera.
    ‘At Hawthorn Time’ was a nice read – I leant it to my Dad and he enjoyed it too. I just thought it was a bit ordinary, a bit pedestrian. The writing about the countryside and nature is good, but not startlingly so.

    Honestly though, having been following various book prizes for twenty years, I’ve become less and lees keen on the idea of longlists (admittedly the Giller sucks me in every year), and particularly not ones like the Baileys where a book may appear on there having only been read and highly rated by one judge, whose qualification for telling me what to read may be a bit dubious (Victoria Derbyshire from a few years ago springs to mind, cheerfully stating that she usually only read one book a year – on holiday!). I take more interest when prizes get to the shortlist stage and there is a bit more consensus about which books are actually contenders and worthy of attention.

  5. Elizabeth Strout is at the top of her game, this book has the weight and soul of Olive Kittredge. The Portable Veblen, nutty tale about a squirrel.

  6. Victoria

    Good to see a more varied line up on a prize list. I’ve read 3 of the books: God in ruins, Pleasantville and book of memory. I’ve got the Melissa Harrison which I’ve not yet got round to reading.

  7. Andrew Cole

    I managed to pick up from the library the Geraldine Brooks (loved Year of wonders ) looks very interesting, and Melissa Harrison, again I really like the description. Also ordered Elizabeth strout.
    I’ve only read Anne Enright which was ok , not my favourite of hers .
    I really want to try Kate Atkinson as life after life was so good, and curious about Attica Locke as read another of hers ‘black water rising’and enjoyed it.
    I like the look of the list and I am looking forward to trying a few.

  8. The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet is a great read and I’m very happy to see it in the long list. I hope people won’t be stopped by the science fiction label since this is also a character-driven novel. Chambers creates a massive universe peopled by a plethora of species, each culture rich in minute details, from physical appearance, language, to structure and politics. The story starts by following the newest crew member of a tunnelling ship. This allows us to get acquainted with the nine characters, a small assortment of sentient creatures that reflects the ship itself, a patchwork of many disparate parts put together into an amazing whole…
    I haven’t read any of the others but aim to discover a few :O)

  9. Pingback: We Should All Be Feminists – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie | Savidge Reads

  10. I’m impressed with myself. I have read two of these. That’s only one fewer than you.

  11. louise

    I’ve only read the Atkinson, which I enjoyed, but I think these look interesting as well
    ◾The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet
    ◾Whispers Through a Megaphone
    ◾The Book of Memory
    ◾The Improbability of Love

  12. Absolutely over the moon that RUBY is included.

  13. Pingback: Thoughts on the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction Longlist 2016 | Savidge Reads

  14. I just started The Portable Veblen. . . fun so far . . will report. God in Ruins was stunning. Thinking of The Improbability of Love next. Anyone read?

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