Women's Prize for Fiction 2020 - Longlist (& Plan of Action!)

Sunday, 8 March 2020


Happy International Women's Day everyone! I know this is coming to you a little late - I had a foray into London (be on the lookout for the return of my once-in-a-blue-moon travel posts!) and, as more days passed, I thought it only apt to wait and schedule this post today instead of any other. So, let's get to backseat-judging...



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

Of the sixteen, I have only read two: A Thousand Ships by Natalie Haynes and, of course, Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo. But, contrary to popular opinion, I didn't actually... love them. I know, I know - I am sorry! Admittedly, there was not any outright hate going on, but that does not mean that I am not going into the rest of this list without an overriding sense of trepidation.


Interested
Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams
Actress by Anne Enright


How We Disappeared by Jing-Jing Lee
The Mirror and the Light by Hilary Mantel
Hamnet by Maggie O’ Farrell
Red at the Bone by Jacqueline Woodson

Wow, what a selection! A lot of these seven are heavy-hitters, whilst the others are as-yet unknown gems that I am sure will pack a punch. And, I already know that, like so many other people, I will be doing all that I can to get my hands on them. I just wonder how the long the respective waiting lists are going to be...

Apathetic
Dominicana by Angie Cruz
Nightingale Point by Luan Goldie
The Most Fun We Ever Had by Claire Lombardo
Girl by Edna O’ Brien

Alligning with the overriding feeling that I have about the entirety of this year's list, I have absolutely no opinion one way or the other about these four. Like, none whatsoever. And, who has ever heard of an instance of that happening with me?

Dreading It
Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line by Deepa Anappara
Fleishman is in Trouble by Taffy Brodesser-Akner
Weather by Jenny Offill
The Dutch House by Ann Patchett

Whether or not my feelings derive from the books' covers (I am looking at you, Djinn Patrol), synopses or the very little I have heard about them, something has been stirred up that makes me genuinely not want to read these four. Let us hope that I can fight through it and find some wonder.


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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