The Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction Longlist 2017

It has not long struck midnight, and whilst many of you (myself included) may be asleep, the book world still keeps whizzing with the latest news that the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction longlist has been announced and it came with a surprise or four. It had been said that the longlist was going to be twelve books, yet the wealth of women’s writing was so strong in the last twelve months (as I mentioned when I tried to guess the longlist last week) that we have a list of sixteen titles. And here they are…

  • Stay With Me – Ayọ̀bámi Adébáyọ̀̀ (Canongate, Nigerian, 1st Novel)
  • The Power – Naomi Alderman (Viking, British, 4th Novel)
  • Hag-Seed – Margaret Atwood (Hogarth, Canadian, 16th Novel)
  • Little Deaths – Emma Flint (Picador, British, 1st Novel)
  • The Mare – Mary Gaitskill (Serpent’s Tail, American, 3rd Novel)
  • The Dark Circle – Linda Grant (Virago, British, 6th Novel)
  • The Lesser Bohemians – Eimear McBride (Faber & Faber, Irish, 2nd Novel)
  • Midwinter – Fiona Melrose (Corsair, South African, 1st Novel)
  • The Sport of Kings – C.E. Morgan (4th Estate, American, 2nd Novel)
  • The Woman Next Door – Yewande Omotoso (Chatto & Windus, South African, 2nd Novel)
  • The Lonely Hearts Hotel – Heather O’Neill (riverrun, Canadian, 3rd Novel)
  • The Essex Serpent – Sarah Perry (Serpent’s Tail, British, 2nd Novel)
  • Barkskins – Annie Proulx (4th Estate, American, 8th Novel)
  • First Love – Gwendoline Riley (Granta, British, 6th Novel)
  • Do Not Say We Have Nothing – Madeleine Thien (Granta, Canadian, 3rd Novel)
  • The Gustav Sonata – Rose Tremain (Chatto & Windus, British, 14th Novel)

It’s all too easy to go on about the books we should think should be on there (though I am nosey enough to want to hear your thoughts on that down below) because despite all the books I mentioned when I cheated terribly at guessing there is so much I love about this list, though I am still letting all the titles settle in my brain. Naturally though I cheered at the inclusion of The Essex Serpent and The Gustav Sonata (review coming on Friday), yet I am so excited about what gems I am going to find in the next few weeks and months, as yes I am going to read the longlist. I have only read three of the books – which I have popped in italics above, however I have thirteen of the titles and three more coming in the post so it would be rude not to, especially as I still have almost two more weeks of post surgery recovery.

I think this year is a really diverse selection in all sorts of ways. Women from their first book to their sixteenth, from all around the world and importantly writing on a wide variety of subjects and themes; even two about horses, anyway… I am really excited about delving in, what about you?

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15 Comments

Filed under Bailey's Women's Prize for Fiction, Women's Prize for Fiction

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

  1. gail kennon

    thanks to you simon i’m currently reading the gustav sonata and have the essex serpent on my shelf..but i’ll have to go out and get some of the others…and it’s not yet midnight here in new jersey,usa..funny to see a march 8 by-line. hope your feeling better each day.

  2. There are quite a few on the list that I wasn’t expecting, although I really wish that Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi had made the cut. Still, it’s a great longlist. I’m especially looking forward to reading The Gustav Sonata. 😊

  3. I feel that they did a really good job this year with the selection for the Longlist. My problem is I have only read 4 of the 16! I really did struggle with “The Lesser Bohemians”. That is not to say it wasn’t well written just so different for me to get comfortable with.

  4. The Power is excellent and I loved The Essex Serpent, really surprised that Homegoing isn’t on the list though.

  5. stuart sheach

    Hi Simon. Thanks for Savidge Reads. I really enjoy your postings and taste in literature. I adored ‘The Gustav Sonata’. I only discovered Rose Tremain last year after being blown away by ‘Trespass’. ‘Essex Serpent’ and ‘Thien’ on my bookshelf. The rest (apart from the Atwood) on my Amazon wish list. I think ‘The Heart Goes Last’ is one of the worst books I have ever read. A badly written comic! Keep up the great work and here’s to your speedy recovery.

  6. I’ve got a thing about Heather O’Neill, so I am very excited about that, but there are some really good ones on the list, most of which I have on my shelves but haven’t got around to reading yet…

  7. Linda Stormonth

    Our March Book Club choice is Yewande Omotoso’s The Woman Next Door so we will be congratulating ourselves on our good taste. I loved it so I will be interested to hear other comments.

  8. Reblogged this on Berkhamsted School Library and commented:
    So our to-be- read piles are rapidly increasing in height!

  9. I will look out for your review of The Gustav Sonata – I am meant to be reading it for my book group and I am just not feeling it. At the moment (I am only on page 55), it feels like a Gustav, at least, is a character that’s been done before – neglected boy with a depressed mother and a weirdo neighbour. It will be interesting to hear (or read!) what others think!

  10. Bet

    I have only read one book on the list (The Gustav Sonata, which I loved and I’m looking forward to your post on it) but I was surprised that Homegoing and This Must Be the Place were not on it. I have Dark Circle on my TBR pile.

  11. Pingback: Dear Ijeawele, Or A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie | Savidge Reads

  12. I’ve read Hag-Seed, and quite enjoyed it. (I’m a Shakespeare fan). I’m excited to read The Power, Midwinter, The Lonely Hearts Hotel, The Essex Serpent, and Do Not Say We Have Nothing. Barkskins is at the top of that list for me (I am part Mi’kmaw).

  13. Cat

    I’ve suggested to my local Waterstones make a feature of the Baileys longlist… fingers crossed.

  14. Pingback: Reblogged: Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction Long List 2017 | Amanda's Words

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