Guessing The Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction Longlist 2017

A week to this very day will see the announcement of the longlist for this year’s Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction. Those of you who have followed this blog for the last (almost ten, how did that happen) years will know that the Women’s Prize for Fiction is one of my top five literary prizes ever. For many a year now I have played the all at once delightful and downright difficult game of trying to guess the longlist, so I thought I would do it again this year. Why fix it if it ain’t broke?

There is a slight change this year. Normally I do a list of 20 books, for that is the usual longlist length. This year it is all change however as there is rumoured to be a shortlist of just twelve books this year. For me to choose a list of only 12 books is frankly impossible, well ok not impossible but it would be very difficult as one thing about the guessing the list for this prize shows me every year is how many amazing books there are by women published every year. So I have decided if the prize can change its list length so can I, so you will be getting a list of 12 books I have read and would love to see on the list and 12 books I would love to read and see on the list.

First up the books I have read, which has shamefully reminded me of how little of what I read last year I have reviewed but I will in good time, that I would love to see on the list…


The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry (Serpent’s Tail)
The Natural Way of Things by Charlotte Wood (Allen and Unwin)
Shelter by Jung Yun (Picador)
The Gustav Sonata by Rose Tremain (Vintage)
Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi (Penguin)
This Must Be The Place by Maggie O’Farrell (Tinder Press)
The Good People by Hannah Kent (Picador)
Fell by Jenn Ashworth (Sceptre)
My Name is Leon by Kit De Waal (Penguin)
The Muse by Jessie Burton (Picador)
To The Bright Edge of the World by Eowyn Ivey (Tinder Press)
The Museum of You by Carys Bray (Windmill)

I was going to add Madeleine Thien’s Do Not Say We Have Nothing which I read for the Man Booker Prize last year but I didn’t love it as much as everyone else BUT if it was on the list I would read it again so thought I should give it a nod. Right, now to the books I haven’t read yet but want to, which was again so, so, so tough to whittle down just to twelve.


Here Comes The Sun by Nicole Dennis Benn (Oneworld)
The Tidal Zone by Sarah Moss (Granta)
Autumn by Ali Smith (Penguin)
Idaho by Emily Ruskovich (Vintage)
Harmless Like You by Rowan Hisayo Buchanan (Sceptre)
The Lesser Bohemians by Eimear McBride (Faber and Faber)
English Animals by Laura Kaye (Little Brown)
Another Brooklyn by Jacqueline Woodson (Oneworld)
History of Wolves by Emily Fridlund (Orion)
Behold The Dreamers by Imbolo Mbue (4th Estate)
The Possessions by Sara Flannery Murphy (Scribe)
The Unseen World by Liz Moore (Windmill)

There were so many more I wanted to add onto this list. Brit Bennett, Emma Geen, Min Jin Lee, Claire Fuller, Katherine Arden, Stella Duffy and Sara Baume  were all wriggling away in the back of my mind as were heavyweights Ann Patchett, Emma Donoghue and Annie Proulx. See it just goes to show how many amazing books there could be in the list next week. And you know what? I wouldn’t mind if I was completely wrong and was introduced to a whole selection of books I hadn’t even thought of, that is all part of the joy of a prize like this one, so much scope, so many possibilities, so many good reads ahead.

So over to you, what do you think might just make the list next week?


Filed under Bailey's Women's Prize for Fiction

10 responses to “Guessing The Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction Longlist 2017

  1. What an excellent selection 🙂 I always get confused between US and UK release dates so not exactly sure which titles would qualify… Looking forward to the announcement! *much excitement*

    To be quite honest I still have a few titles from the previous year’s longlist on my TBR…

  2. gail kennon

    i don’t have any guesses as i’m usually reading behind the year but i do want to read the books you’ve named…thanks..gail

  3. I love all of your picks! I’m very pleased that I’ve read ten of your predictions–and am currently reading two others. We’ll see if I fair as well when the longlist is finally released. lol!

  4. Debra Gordon

    Using basically the same format you did, here are my picks.

    12 books I’ve read that I think deserve to be on the longlist:
    The Mothers, Brit Bennett
    Sweetbitter, Stephanie Danler
    Here Comes the Sun, Nicole Dennis-Benn
    The Wonder, Emma Donoghue
    Homegoing, Yaa Gyasi
    A Separation, Katie Kitamura
    Behold the Dreamers, Imbolo Mbue
    Commonwealth, Ann Patchett
    Mister Monkey, Francine Prose
    Swing Time, Zadie Smith
    Do Not Say We Have Nothing, Madeleine Thien
    Another Brooklyn, Jacqueline Woodson

    12 books I haven’t read but want to and that seem worthy of consideration:
    The Muse, Jesse Burton
    Transit, Rachel Cusk
    LaRose, Louise Erdrich
    History of Wolves, Emily Fridlund
    Swimming Lessons, Claire Fuller
    The Dry, Jane Harper
    The Unseen World, Liz Moore
    This Must Be the Place, Maggie O’Farrell
    The Essex Serpet, Sarah Perry
    Idaho, Emily Ruskovich
    Autumn, Ali Smith
    The Gustav Sonata, Rose Tremain

  5. elizabethmaddenlitblog

    For me, the highlight books of last year written by women were Eimeir MacBride’s The Lesser Bohemians and Emma Donohue’s The Wonder. I had expected to enjoy Ali smith’s Autumn, but didn’t. ditto Sarah Perry’s The Essex Serpent- which I found unreadable. I doubt either of the books I selected will win, but I felt they stood out, massively, against a fairly mundane selection.

  6. I’m one of those fans of Do Not Say We Have Nothing that would be delighted to see it nominated for and winning more awards outside of Canada.
    LaRose was another favourite from last year & I thoroughly enjoyed To the Bright Edge of the World, although many of her earlier fans didn’t like it as much as her first book (which I still haven’t read!)

    But one of the joys of the Women’s Prize is the discovery of new potential reads 🙂

  7. Rachel Cusk for Transit. She gets a hard time in the British press but is a fine writer.

  8. I’ve just put my predictions up on my blog. Not sure how accurate I am but from past lists I think some of the ones I’ve chosen could appear on the longlist. I’m think the judges list is great and I’m really excited about Aminatta Forna being on it. I love her writing!

  9. Homegoing is my pick, The Good People was good but flagged in the middle, about to read The Essex Serpent, just really looking forward to the list and to the lesser known gems hopefully!

  10. Pingback: The Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction Longlist 2017 | Savidge Reads

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