The longlist for the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction – one of the most prestigious and high-profile awards for women – was announced today, featuring five debut novelists and some strong Baileys Prize veterans.
This year’s panel of judges – chaired Liberty director Shami Chakrabarti – has read a total of 165 entries, which has been whittled down to a longlist of 20 novels, representing the best of international fiction written by women between 1 April 2014 and 31 March 2015.
Three authors on the list have been longlisted for the Prize before and a further eight authors have been previously shortlisted, two of those – including The Paying Guests author Sarah Waters – twice. Debuts, meanwhile, include the Costa-winning Elizabeth is Missing by Emma Healey, narrated by an elderly woman with dementia, and The Bees by Laline Paull, which is a dystopia set in a beehive.
As the judges skillfully pare the list of 20 down to six ahead of the winner’s announcement of June 3, we’d love to know what you think of the longlist. Have you read any of the books? Do you agree with the judges? Are there any notable absences? Let us know in the comments!
Rachel Cusk – Outline
Lissa Evans – Crooked Heart
Patricia Ferguson – Aren’t We Sisters?
Xiaolu Guo – I Am China
Samantha Harvey – Dear Thief
Emma Healey – Elizabeth is Missing
Emily St. John Mandel – Station Eleven
Grace McCleen – The Offering
Sandra Newman – The Country of Ice Cream Star
Heather O’Neil – The Girl Who Was Saturday Night
Laline Paull – The Bees
Marie Phillips – The Table of Less Valued Knights
Rachel Seiffert – The Walk Home
Kamila Shamsie – A God in Every Stone
Ali Smith – How to be Both
Sara Taylor – The Shore
Anne Tyler – A Spool of Blue Thread
Sarah Waters – The Paying Guests
Jemma Wayne – After Before
PP Wong – The Life of a Banana
So, what are your thoughts?