The Orange Prize longlist has been announced. I bet you've already seen it, but I'm going to share it again as I always get excited about it and end up buying lots of new books because of it, but I rarely actually read the books while it's all happening. For me the fun is discovering new to me authors and books.
Lyrics Alley by Leila Aboulela (Weidenfeld & Nicolson) - Sudanese; 3rd Novel
Jamrach's Menagerie by Carol Birch (Canongate) - British; 10th Novel
Room by Emma Donoghue (Picador) - Irish; 7th Novel
The Pleasure Seekers by Tishani Doshi (Bloomsbury) - Indian; 1st Novel
Whatever You Love by Louise Doughty (Faber and Faber) - British; 6th Novel
A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan (Corsair) - American; 4th Novel
The Memory of Love by Aminatta Forna (Bloomsbury) - British/Sierra Leonean; 3rd Novel
The London Train by Tessa Hadley (Jonathan Cape) - British; 4th Novel
Grace Williams Says it Loud by Emma Henderson (Sceptre) - British; 1st Novel
The Seas by Samantha Hunt (Corsair) - American; 1st Novel
The Birth of Love by Joanna Kavenna (Faber and Faber) - British; 2nd Novel
Great House by Nicole Krauss (Viking) - American; 3rd Novel
The Road to Wanting by Wendy Law-Yone (Chatto & Windus) - American; 3rd Novel
The Tiger's Wife by Téa Obreht (Weidenfeld & Nicolson) - Serbian/American; 1st Novel
The Invisible Bridge by Julie Orringer (Viking) - American; 1st Novel
Repeat it Today with Tears by Anne Peile (Serpent's Tail) - British; 1st Novel
Swamplandia! by Karen Russell (Chatto & Windus) - American; 1st Novel
The Secret Lives of Baba Segi's Wives by Lola Shoneyin (Serpent's Tail) - British/Nigerian; 1st Novel
The Swimmer by Roma Tearne (Harper Press) - British; 4th Novel
Annabel by Kathleen Winter (Jonathan Cape) - Canadian; 1st Novel
I've not read any of the books, though I did try Emma Donoghue's Room. I know many people loved it and I want to like it (maybe even love it), too, but I must confess I've just not been able to get on with it. I tried the book but decided timing was wrong. Then someone at Little Brown kindly sent me the audio to try, but that just hasn't quite clicked either. I'm just not in the right mood for it at the moment or maybe I'm just the wrong audience? If she makes the shortlist I will be giving it another try. Maybe I've just not read far enough to give it a real chance.
I do have a couple others on hand to read however. I have the Krauss and Orringer on my reading pile out from the library and am in line for the Egan. There are a few others I've heard good things about and might just be tempted to try, though whether it will be sooner or later I'm not quite sure. It seems like a really interesting list--varied culturally, which is nice. There are a number of books here I would like not have come across had it not been for their place on the list.
Any titles to tempt you? And as a side note, I came across this very interesting article in the Guardian about the Orange Prize, which touches once again on the validity of such prizes. Interesting perspective and one I agree with wholeheartedly.