The 2011 Orange Prize Shortlist

The Orange Prize shortlist has just been announced as:

I predicted four out of the six correctly, but I was surprised that A Visit from the Goon Squad didn’t make the list – especially since it has been winning every prize it has been eligible for recently.

Who will win the Orange Prize?

I have no idea! I would guess that Great House or The Memory of Love has the greatest chance of winning, but as Room has been shortlisted I think it will still be in with a chance. I also wouldn’t be surprised if The Tiger’s Wife took the title – in fact I don’t think the field has been this wide open for a while.

What do you think of the shortlist?

Who do you think will win?

Send to Kindle


  1. Alison M says:

    “Annabel” is beautifully written although I felt the ending lacked power. “Great House” has surprised me, I started it thinking I wouldn’t like it at all & got gripped. Haven’t read “Memory of Love” yet but it’s next on the list.
    I still think “Room” will win, though it didn’t appeal to me.

    1. Jackie says:

      Alison, I agree about Annabel lacking power. I’m not surprised that it made the shortlist, but I would be shocked if it won.

      I think you’ll love Memory of Love. Enjoy :-)

  2. Sandy says:

    Well, I am shocked that Room made it! Finally getting some love, which is good to see. Funny, even though I haven’t read the rest of them, I’ve read alot of reviews and there are considerable number of people that had problems with them. I’ll be anxious to see how it works out.

    1. Jackie says:

      Sandy, Yes. The list is very literary and so most are hard to read. I haven’t enjoyed reading them, but can see their quality. I think these books all divide opinion – as all the best ones do :-)

  3. sakura says:

    That’s a pretty good prediction Jackie! I’m reading Great House at the moment which I’m enjoying and would like to read a couple more before the prize announcement. But you know how slow I am at reading prize books!

    1. Jackie says:

      Sakura, I hope that you enjoy reading the rest of Great House — good luck with the rest of your Orange reading :-)

  4. mee says:

    I didn’t realize Karen Russell was in the 20 Under 40 list too, and she didn’t make it, though Tea Obreht did. I think it’s a pretty interesting shortlist. I’m somewhat intrigued by Annabel and the Tiger’s Wife, have intended to read The Great House since it came out, and have read and liked Room.

    1. Jackie says:

      mee, I think you will love Great House and Memory of Love, but I think you might have issues with Annabel – it will be interesting to see if my predictions are correct :-) Enjoy your Oranges :-)

  5. I figured either Goon Squad or Great House would make it, but I was pulling for Goon Squad. Overall, I think it’s a pretty balanced and diverse list. I’m still looking forward to reading the rest of the longlist too, but I’m thrilled to see Room make it. I’ll be re-reading Room and Great House because I read both last year. I’m curious to see if my reactions change on the second read.

    1. Jackie says:

      Carrie, I thought they’d both make it, but overall I think it is a very strong list. I think they’ve done a good job of narrowing it down (all the mistakes were made at the longlisting stage ;-) ) Enjoy your re-reads :-)

  6. Laura says:

    I’m really excited about this list. I’ve only read Room (loved it), and have read so many reviews of the others that I’m keen to read them all!

  7. Laura says:

    Oh and I meant to say, Jackie, nice job picking 4 of the 6 !!

    1. Jackie says:

      Thanks Laura, I think you’ll love all the shortlist (to some extent ;-) ) I look forward to seeing what you make of them.

  8. Bookatlas says:

    Impressed with the your predictions and the shortlist. Seems strong to me! Would have picked Goon Squad instead of Great House though if I was choosing…

    1. Jackie says:

      BookAtlas, Why choose between the two? I’d have put them both in! Agree it is a very strong list though. They’ve made some good choices!

  9. Jill says:

    First of all, congrats on picking four of the six in your predictions! =) I was three for three, which is a personal best! =) Like you, I was surprised to see Egan’s book missing from the short list.

    I have Room and The Great House in my possession but still unread. Will be getting to those quickly!

    Happy Orange Reading!
    Jill =)

    1. Jackie says:

      Jill, Thank you and congratulations on getting a personal best. :-) I’m impressed that you’ve managed to avoid reading Room since it seems to have been everywhere, but you are in for a treat! Enjoy all your Oranges!

  10. Jenna says:

    Great job making your predictions! I haven’t read many on the list, but I’m very impressed that so many are from debut novelists. I was also really surprised that Great House made it over Goon Squad, since I’ve heard so many negatives about Great House. Either way, I’ll definitely be adding some of these titles to my list!

    1. Jackie says:

      Jenna, I think it is unusual for there to be so many debuts, but I love debuts so am very happy about that. I think most of these books will divide opinion, but I hope that you enjoy reading the shortlist. Happy reading!

  11. I am gunning for Annabel to win, I was astounded by it. I am happy both Room and Great house are on the list, though I wouldnt have put them on my own – Room has had sooo much publicity now (which it is fair to say it deserves as its very good, I love it, am just slightly fed up with it being everywhere now – bah humbug hahaha) and I don’t think, this is where I put my Green Carantion Prize judging hat on, I could read and re-read Great House again and again though I loved it the first time round. I also though Swamplandia! had a slight edge over The Tigers Wife, it just shows how subjective reading and judging is.

    1. Jackie says:

      Simon, I think your comments on Great House just show what a fantastic book it is. I think the same is probably true of Memory of Love too and so that is why I think they are much more likely to win than a book like Annabel. Anyone could win though and I look forward to seeing which book the judges pick in the end.

  12. Edie says:

    to be honest… i am surprised that “room” is on there but have the feeling it might walk away with the price. it had a lot of publicity, although i personally think it cashed in on tragic events

    1. Jackie says:

      Edie, I was a little surprised that Room made it as it seems to be loved by people who dislike the rest of the list, but as I’m one of the people who loved it I am pleased it did sneak through to the shortlist. I don’t think it cashed in on tragic events- it raised some very interesting questions about what we value in society and didn’t actually detail the horrific events.

  13. Alyce says:

    Good call guessing four of the six! Since I haven’t read any of these I can’t really give an opinion – other than the same kind I give when picking who I think will win professional sports games (based on uniform colors). In which case I would say The Memory of Love because I like the cover. :)

    1. Jackie says:

      Alyce, LOL! I actually think they all have very good covers. I wonder if the publishers spent extra time designing them because they thought they were extra special?

  14. Patty says:

    It is an interesting mix of books…

    1. Jackie says:

      Patty, I think there should be something for everyone there…

  15. We had a rude and angry man turn up to book group last night and he was very insulting about Room. I hope he feels ashamed now.

    1. Jackie says:

      Ellie, He should be ashamed just for being rude :-(

  16. JoV says:

    I’m impressed Jackie! Soon you will be invited to the Orange Prize Panel of judges! :)

    Haven’t read any of them yet, but I have ROOM to read and Tiger’s wife looks good! Thanks for the news!

    1. Jackie says:

      JoV, I don’t think the Orange judges will ever have me – but I can always dream….

      I’m sure you’ll enjoy Room & I look forward to reading your thoughts on it.

  17. FleurFisher says:

    I got 4 right too! I haven’t read enough of these books or of the other longlisted titles to form a proper opinion, but it looks like a well balanced list and I have heard praise for all six books, so I’m reasonably happy.

    1. Jackie says:

      FluerFisher, Congratulations on getting four right! Such a shame that The Birth of Love didn’t make it :-( Other than that I am very pleased with the list – they made some good choices.

  18. Sabrina says:

    All of them look great. I will read Room soon to see what all the talk is about. I plan for more, e.g. The Memory of Secrets and The Tiger’s wife. Thanks for the update.

    1. Jackie says:

      Sabrina, My Pleasure :-) I hope you enjoy all your Orange reading.

  19. Jenners says:

    I just read and reviewed Goon Squad and I’m surprised too. Love it or hate it, I think you have to recognize what she was doing in that book!

    1. Jackie says:

      Jenners, I’m glad it isn’t just me that thinks so. Lots of people seem surprised it didn’t make it and I think they made a mistake in not including it.

  20. Amy says:

    Congrats on guessing 4 of the 6, that is pretty fantastic! I, personally, am rooting for Annabel :)

    1. Jackie says:

      Amy, Annabel is one of the only ones I’m not rooting for, but I look forward to finding out what is selected on the day.

  21. Rebecca Reid says:

    of all of them, the one that most interests me is The Tiger’s Wife. I haven’t read any of them yet.

Leave a Reply