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Initial Thoughts On The Women’s Prize For Fiction 2020 Longlist! I’ve got a lot of reading to do…

This Years Longlist!

Hi Readers!

Well this is a post I’m very excited to be writing and sharing with you. The Women’s Prize longlist was finally announced last night! Now my plan was to stay up for midnight and do my reaction then but I made the mistake of just ‘closing my eyes’ for a second at 23:30pm and didn’t see the world again until 6am. Oops.

But it’s fine, we’re here now and the longlist has been released. And boy is it an exciting one. I actually don’t think I’ve ever been more excited to get to reading this prize’s longlist. This years judges have picked some amazing books!

My Predictions | How Did I Do?

Just like the past couple of years I’ve tried to predict what books will be on the longlist. This year was my most successful guesses yet! Out of the 16 books on the longlist I predicted 7 of them. I had heard of three others and there are 6 books on the longlist that are new to me.

What’s Missing | Books I Wish Had Made the Longlist

Of course the judges can’t please everyone. There are just 16 spaces on the longlist and there are always going to be books deserving of a spot that just didn’t make it.

There’s two books I personally would’ve liked to have seen on the longlist. Long Bright River by Liz Moore and FrankissStein by Jeanette Winterson. But saying that I’m excited to see so many books on the longlist I haven’t yet read. I never protest to adding more books to my TBR.

There’s also the notable absence of The Testaments by Margaret Atwood, the co-winner of the 2019 Booker Prize. But I’m not upset about that to be honest. It’s already had a lot of coverage and I think Atwood would agree it’s good to give another author a spot on this list.

How Many Have I Already Read?

Three. So… I have a lot of reading to do! I do of course plan on reading the entire longlist and 6 of those books were already on my immediate TBR anyway.

The Longlist!

For those who haven’t seen the longlist yet, here it is! How many of these books have you read/are planning on reading?

WomensPrizeForFictionLonglistPredictions!(1)
  • The Dutch House by Ann Patchett
  • The Most Fun We Ever Had by Claire Lombardo
  • Nightingale Point by Luan Goldie
  • Girl by Edna O’ Brien
  • Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line by Deepa Anappara
  • A Thousand Ships by Natalie Haynes
  • The Mirror and the Light by Hilary Mantel
  • Dominicana by Angie Cruz
  • Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo
  • Weather by Jenny Offill
  • How We Disappeared by Jing-Jing Lee
  • Hamnet by Maggie O’ Farrell
  • Red at the Bone by Jacqueline Woodson
  • Fleishman is in Trouble by Taffy Brodesser-Akner
  • Actress by Anne Enright
  • Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams

In this years longlist we have three past winners, Patchett’s The Dutch House, Mantel’s anticipated The Mirror and the Light & Enright’s Actress. But they have strong competition from Evaristo, co-winner of the 2019 Booker Prize with her multi-perspective book Girl, Woman, Other.

I’ve heard a lot of praise for O’Brien’s Girl and one I’m particularly excited about is Haynes’s greek myth feminist retelling A Thousand Ships. I’m also intrigued by Red At the Bone. Woodson is an author I’ve heard of but never read before so I’m excited to finally give her a go.

We also have some amazing debuts with Carty-Williams’s modern Queenie, O’Farrell’s Shakespearean Hamnet and Anappara’s India set Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line.

The other authors and books are completely new to me but that’s what I love about this prize. It brings new authors and voices onto my radar. I’m especially intrigued by Dominicana and How We Disappeared.

What books are you most excited to get to?

Thanks For Reading,
Jess X

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