The Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction Longlist 2014

The longlist for this year’s Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction was announced today.  The twenty titles are:

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie – Americanah
Margaret Atwood – MaddAddam
Suzanne Berne –  The Dogs of Littlefield
Fatima Bhutto – The Shadow of the Crescent Moon
Claire Cameron –  The Bear
Lea Carpenter – Eleven Days
M.J. Carter – The Strangler Vine
Eleanor Catton – The Luminaries
Deborah Kay Davies – Reasons She Goes to the Woods
Elizabeth Gilbert – The Signature of All Things
Hannah Kent – Burial Rites
Rachel Kushner – The Flamethrowers
Jhumpa Lahiri – The Lowland
Audrey Magee – The Undertaking
Eimear McBride – A Girl Is A Half-Formed Thing
Charlotte Mendelson – Almost English
Anna Quindlen – Still Life with Bread Crumbs
Elizabeth Strout – The Burgess Boys
Donna Tartt – The Goldfinch
Evie Wyld – All The Birds, Singing

Much like last year, the list seems to be a good mix of established names and newer authors.  This year’s longlist has some overlap with other recent literary prizes so the list feels more “familiar” in that I have heard of the majority of the titles which is not always the case with other awards like the Booker (I remember last year that some of the titles on the Booker longlist like ‘The Lowland’ had yet to be published when the list was revealed).  Nevertheless, the Women’s Prize shortlist is as eclectic as ever and I would expect nothing less.  In fact, it would be pretty hard to come up with a list of twenty books which wasn’t diverse.

I didn’t have a set list of predictions (they are always pretty pointless) but I am very pleased that ‘The Goldfinch‘ has made an appearance on the longlist and will be surprised if it doesn’t feature on the shortlist, if only for the reason that it is likely to be at least another decade before the judges have the chance to nominate Donna Tartt again.  ‘Burial Rites‘ may also be a strong contender because of the strength of Hannah Kent’s prose.  I have also now read ‘The Lowland’ by Jhumpa Lahiri which was shortlisted for last year’s Booker Prize but am hopelessly behind with writing up my reviews so I will try and get that one up on the blog later this month.  I have copies of ‘Americanah’, ‘The Luminaries’ and ‘MaddAddam’ and I want to investigate ‘All the Birds, Singing’ and ‘The Flamethrowers’ which has been shortlisted for the Folio Prize.  I have a lot to catch up on…

I felt that last year’s shortlist leaned towards the bigger names such as Zadie Smith and Hilary Mantel and it will be interesting to see if this happens again.  The shortlist of six books will be announced on 7th April and the winner will be announced on 4th June. The judges for this year’s prize are Helen Fraser, Denise Mina, Caitlin Moran, Mary Beard and Sophie Raworth.

What do you think of the longlist?  Which books have you read and what would you recommend?  Which books were overlooked? What are your predictions for the shortlist?  So many questions…

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16 Comments

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16 responses to “The Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction Longlist 2014

  1. I’ve only read two of those as I read so much older stuff, but I loved The Luminaries it was one of my top books of last year, and I thoroughly enjoyed The Goldfinch, it fully deserves its place. O f the others I have been wanting to read Burial Rites for as a while.

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  2. I love receiving your posts. You keep me in the loop! sheila
    http://www.mykentuckyliv.com

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  3. Have read none of these YET, but oh so many I already have on the TBR. Nice to see a mix of those I know and those I’m a bit hazy on. I hate hate hate the new name of this prize though…it just sounds so….naff. Ah well, what can you do!?

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  4. I have Burial Rites on my TBR but I’m not sure how many of the others I’d be tempted to read….

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  5. I have read four of them, and they are all excellent. I have a few more of these in my pile and am curious about the authors I have not heard of before. Interesting list!

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  6. This looks like such a great list! I have only read MaddAddam, but many others are on my to-read list. I think, though, that all of them should be. i’m really looking forward to The Bear, The Luminaries, Americanah, and The Signature of All Things. I have a lot of reading to do!

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  7. I am a devotee of the Man Booker long list so have read all the duplicated titles on that, I was gunning for Eleanor Catton from the start. I loved The Goldfinch, worth every day of the long wait for a new title by Donna Tartt. My expectations of The Signature of all Things were grestly exceeded. This is a wonderful book and should be one everyone’s TBR list. It is a powerful list…look forward to seeing what happens.

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  8. Nargaret Atwood is a visionary.

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  9. I found The Goldfinch the most overrated, dissatisfying novel I’ve slogged through for many a year. It made me quite upset and I still bristle when I see it on shortlists. But I look forward to tucking into many others on the list.

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  10. I’ve only read The Luminaries and Almost English, and while I think the former is the best book of 2013, I sort of feel that now it’s won the Booker it would only be fair to give the others a chance at fame and fortune. In fact, perhaps the Booker winner should be excluded from future awards? A bit harsh, perhaps…

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  11. mushypeasonearth

    Looks like a great list. I loved Burial Rites, The Goldfinch and The Luminaries, they would all be worthy winners. I’ve had Lowland on my to-read pile for ages now, will get around to it as soon as I can. Thanks for the post, I hadn’t seen any publicity myself so didn’t know it was out yet.

    http://bookaweekblog.wordpress.com/

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  12. sikolakjengkol

    Reblogged this on Batok kelapa.

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