I don't know . . . I think the Baileys judges cheated a little bit. It seems I read somewhere that they had planned to longlist just twelve books but in the end there are actually sixteen. Not that I mind, as when it comes to books almost always more is better than less. My one nod in the direction of the longlist was a nod in the wrong direction, though of course I am well and truly hooked so I will be finishing Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi as it is an excellent read and would have been a worthy contender. The longlist has a few surprises (two I had not even come across) and a few books already on my reading pile (one in progress even and had been much anticipated by me if you recall), and I will be exploring the books a bit and hopefully reading a handful (three at least anyway).
Stay With Me, Ayobami Adebayo
The Power, Naomi Alderman
Hag-Seed, Margaret Atwood (it might be fun to pair this with Shakespeare's The Tempest)
Little Deaths, Emma Flint
The Mare, Mary Gaitskill
The Dark Circle, Linda Grant
The Lesser Bohemians, Eimear McBride
Midwinter, Fiona Melrose
The Sport of Kings, C.E. Morgan
The Woman Next Door, Yewande Omotoso
The Lonely Hearts Hotel, Heather O’Neill
The Essex Serpent, Sarah Perry
Barkskins, Annie Proulx
First Love, Gwendoline Riley
Do Not Say We Have Nothing, Madeleine Thien
The Gustav Sonata, Rose Tremain
I must admit that a few of these were already in my sights and so this has prompted me to order a few I might otherwise have waited for library copies of--Linda Grant's, Margaret Atwood's, Heather O'Neill's (I am especially interested in this one), and Gwendoline Riley's books all went into virtual shopping carts last night. A few more were requested at the library to at least peruse.
The list will be whittled down to just six on April 3 and the winner announced June 7. My reading pile just increased by three as Little Deaths is getting bumped right back up to the top (three now . . . and maybe several more later).
A little extra celebration as Australia's Stella Prize has just announced their shortlist today, too. They have a very varied list allowing also short story collections and nonfiction as potential winners. I don't think I mentioned it yet, but I have been reading one of their finalists, Cory Taylor's Dying: A Memoir, which is very eloquent (though sad) and which I am happy to see has made the shortlist. The shortlist:
Between a Wolf and a Dog, Georgia Blain
The Hate Race, Maxine Beneba Clarke
Poum and Alexandre, Catherine de Saint Phalle
An Isolated Incident, Emily Maguire
The Museum of Modern Love, Heather Rose
Dying: A Memoir, Cory Taylor
So much good reading!
Happy International Women's Day everyone!