The Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction Longlist 2015

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The longlist for the 2015 Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction was released at midnight and I think it is fair to say that it was a surprise. Almost half of the books longlisted hadn’t appeared on any of the blogger prediction posts circulating in the last week or so. I hadn’t even heard of some of them. At this stage I’m not sure if they are stronger than the books suggested, but I’ll find out as I still plan to read many of the books that didn’t make the longlist (Weathering by Lucy WoodEverything I Never Told You by Celeste NgThe First Bad Man by Miranda JulyEuphoria by Lily KingHausfrau by Jill Alexander EssbaumSummertime by Vanessa LafayeA Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara)

In fact, I am far more excited about reading the books I discovered while researching contenders for the longlist and discussing the likelihood of their success with other bloggers. These books probably need even more attention now they’ve failed to make the longlist so don’t be surprised if I prioritise them over the actual list (below)

The 2015 Baileys Longlist:

Outline: A Novel

Outline by Rachel Cusk

Five words from the blurb: woman, Athens, writing, meeting, indistinct

 

Crooked Heart

Crooked Heart by Lissa Evans

Five words from the blurb: evacuated, London, Blitz, disaster, money

 

Aren't We Sisters?

Aren’t We Sisters? by Patricia Ferguson

Five words from the blurb: family, secrets, grand, friendship, lodger

 

I Am China
I Am China by Xiaolu Guo

Five words from the blurb: London, translator, Chinese, detention centre, letters

 

Dear Thief

Dear Thief by Samantha Harvey

Five words from the blurb: letters, recriminating, friend, rage, forgiveness

 

Elizabeth is Missing

Elizabeth is Missing by Emma Healey

Five words from the blurb: forgetful, mystery, friend, missing, note

 

Station Eleven

Station Eleven by Emily St John Mandel

Five words from the blurb: Flu, collapse, world, relationships, unexpected

 

The Offering

The Offering by Grace McCleen

Five words from the blurb: father, farm, breakdown, memory, rural

 

The Country of Ice Cream Star

The Country of Ice Cream Star by Sandra Newman

Five words from the blurb: children, cruelties, poor, evil, America

 

The Girl Who Was Saturday Night

The Girl Who Was Saturday Night by Heather O’Neill

Five words from the blurb: twins, star, documentary, ex-convict, difference

 

The Bees

The Bees by Laline Paull

Five words from the blurb: bees, hive, obey, sacrifice, Queen

 

The Table Of Less Valued Knights

The Table Of Less Valued Knights by Marie Phillips

Five words from the blurb: Camelot, table, quests, misfits, fantasy

 

 The Walk Home

The Walk Home by Rachel Seiffert 

Five words from the blurb: laborer, Glasgow, family, betrayal, adrift

 

A God in Every Stone

A God in Every Stone by Kamila Shamsie

Five words from the blurb: Indian, army, connections, lives, adventure

 

The Shore

The Shore by Sara Taylor

Five words from the blurb: islands, sanctuary, methamphetamine, miracle, family

 

How to be both

How to be both by Ali Smith

Five words from the blurb: conversation, artist, child, twist, love

 

The Paying Guests

The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters

Five words from the blurb: lodgers, London, unexpected, ex-servicemen, house

 

A Spool of Blue Thread

A Spool of Blue Thread by Anne Tyler

Five words from the blurb: family, decisions, generations, moments, define

 

The Life of a Banana

The Life of a Banana by PP Wong

Five words from the blurb: Chinese, London, secrets, violence, family

 

After Before

After Before by Jemma Wayne

Five words from the blurb: immigrant, Rwanda, secrets, disease, demons

 

What do you think of the longlist?

Which books are you most excited about reading?

 

 


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8 Comments

  1. One problem with making predictions is I often fill my list with books I’m excited to read–and then prefer the look of my list to the actual list. There are several new to me books on the list, and I’m looking forward to them, but I’m already wondering how I’ll balance my Bailey’s reading with anything else, as I’ve only read two of the titles. As you know, Euphoria was my favorite read of last year, so I’m sad to not see it on the list. Hope you enjoy it!

    1. Jackie says:

      Carrie, Yes, there are far too many books out there – it is so hard to decide which ones to read. I think our lists are better than the actually longlist, but I’m happy to try a few from each and see if I’m proved wrong. I look forward to comparing notes with you!

  2. Marina Sofia says:

    I seem to have read more of the ones that didn’t make the shortlist – loved Euphoria, Hausfrau and Everything I Never Told You – but it’s always going to be a personal choice for the jury.

    1. Jackie says:

      Marina, Yes, that’s why it is so difficult to predict. I would love to be able to hear the conversations that take place when they are trying to decide which books to put through.

  3. Oh boo, it looks like the Lissa Evans book isn’t out in the US yet. I read something by Evans a few years ago and quite liked it, but I haven’t read anything else by her (yet). So that one! I’m excited about that one!

    1. Jackie says:

      Jenny, Oh, that’s a shame. I haven’t read anything written by Evans yet, but I look forward to trying Crooked Heart.

  4. Judith says:

    Interesting list… Elizabeth is Missing is actually only so-so, in my mind! It all hinges upon the reader being withheld important information.

    Station Eleven is high on my list, though!

  5. I was surprised, after predictions, not to see The Miniaturist on there, but having started it I think I can see why it isn’t.

    I’ve read Station Eleven, have I Am China and Elizabeth Is Missing ready, and want to read The Paying Guests, so I’m pretty excited in that respect (my reading doesn’t often match up so well). I think it’s a fair list, a good representative of what’s done well, and I’m pleasantly surprised to see After Before and the Wong (always good to see smaller presses).

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