Women's Prize for Fiction 2019 - Longlist (& Plan of Action!)

Sunday, 10 March 2019

So of the sixteen books that popped up on the 2019 Women's Prize for Fiction longest that was announced this time last week, I correctly predicted three of them... Although (and I know that is rather convenient to saying it after the announcement) it would be four if I had bothered to look up the word-count and known that Sarah Moss' Ghost Wall would be long enough to qualify.
It makes no difference though, I still sucked. I mean, not as bad as did at the predicting the Oscars (although I still stand by my own choices and think that it was the Academy, in all of its insular white male glory, made the wrong ones), but still pretty damn awful.
But, carrying on from last year (although flashing back to the 2018 Women's Prize for Fiction, it becomes apparent that I only managed four corrections predictions then and that therefore it seems so that, in the past twelve months, I have made absolutely no improvement - which is clearly a shock to no one), I thought that I would once again post my initial thoughts to the longlist and - standing apart from last year - actually make a concerted effort to post my thoughts about them.
Are you ready? Then, let's get started.
If you missed the announcement on 4th March, the books that I (and many, many others like me) will be reading are:

The Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker

Of these sixteen, I have already read - and absolutely adored! - Swan Song by Kelleigh Greenberg-Jephcott, Circe by Madeline Miller, and Ghost Wall by Sarah Moss. All of which were bloody amazing and honestly, if I was in charge of awarding the prize to any one of them, judging solely on what I had already read, I would have trouble choosing just one of them... And, if this is what I am like after just three of the longlist, I can't imagine the problems I will have when I have read all sixteen.

My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite
Freshwater by Akwaeke Emezi
An American Marriage by Tayari Jones
Number One Chinese Restaurant by Lillian Li
Lost Children Archive by Valeria Luiselli
Praise Song for the Butterflies by Bernice L. McFadden

I am honestly beyond excited to get stuck into these six... If only if I am able to find them at my library/somehow get my hands on them. It's a real mix of books I have heard passing praise for, and ones that I literally for the first time when the list was announced but, all of them have piqued my undeniable interest and I will be certain to pin my hopes on them to deliver something wonderful

Remembered by Yvonne Battle-Felton
The Pisces by Melissa Broder
Bottled Goods by Sophie van Llewyn
Ordinary People by Diana Evans

I have no opinion one way or the other about these four. I've heard very little and what I have heard, has done little to immediately stir up any sort of desperate urge to run out and read them. I hope that I will be surprised because, after-all, there's nothing better than being surprised at the wonders inside an unassuming book's pages.

Dreading It
The Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker
Milkman by Anna Burns
Normal People by Sally Rooney

It turns out that distance (or in this case, silence) really does make the heart grow fonder. Because, despite these books being the ones I have heard the most praise for, I can't seem to bring myself to want to read them. The Silence of the Girls slams Achilles, Sally Rooney has been hailed as the Queen of Millennial Apathy and Milkman, though apparently quite extraordinary, has become notorious for being difficult to get through. Let's just hope that, by actually reading them, my thoughts are destined to change.

I mean, who knows, right? I am literally judging all of these books by their covers, their synopses and the little I have heard of them, but let us just hope that I adore each and every one of them. I mean, that'd be a perfect world, right?
Let me know which books you think are the highs and lows of the longlist, and if you are planning to try and cram all sixteen into the next two months like I am. 

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