Who will the longlisted for the 2015 Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction?

On 10th March the longlist for the 2015 Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction will be announced. Previously known as the Orange Prize, it is awarded to the best full length novel, written by a women, that has been published in the UK between 1st April 2014 and 31st March 2015.

I’ve been researching the contenders and predict that the following books will be longlisted next week:

A Song for Issy BradleyThe MiniaturistWeatheringAll My Puny Sorrows

A Song for Issy Bradley by Cays Bray

The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton

Weathering by Lucy Wood

All My Puny Sorrows by Miriam Toews


Everything I Never Told You (Alex Awards (Awards))How to be bothThe Wolf BorderThe First Bad Man

Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng

How to be both by Ali Smith

The Wolf Border by Sarah Hall

The First Bad Man by Miranda July


Outline: A NovelEuphoriaThe Paying GuestsStation Eleven

Outline by Rachel Cusk

Euphoria by Lily King

The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters

Station Eleven by Emily St John Mandel


HausfrauThe Girl on the TrainElizabeth is MissingThe Chimes

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

Elizabeth is Missing by Emma Healey

Hausfrau by Jill Alexander Essbaum

The Chimes by Anna Smaill


A Spool of Blue ThreadEtta and Otto and Russell and JamesAfter Me Comes the FloodThe First Fifteen Lives of Harry August

A Spool of Blue Thread by Anne Tyler

Etta and Otto and Russell and James by Emma Hooper

After Me Comes the Flood by Sarah Perry

The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Claire North

What do you think of my selection? 

Who do you think will make the Baileys Women’s Prize for fiction longlist?

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  1. Annabel says:

    I’ve read two off your list (Station Eleven and the Emma Hooper – both of which I loved), and I own another ten of them. Good stuff I’m sure – but I haven’t read enough to make an informed choice myself. The one I’m most looking forward to reading though is The Chimes.

    1. Jackie says:

      Annabel, I haven’t read them all either, but find it easier to make decisions that way. It is too easy for me just to create a list of books I love, leaving out those I didn’t enjoy. Many other people rave about books I don’t like so I find it easier to create lists like this by listening to the collective praise of books over time. It makes the choices less subjective – more like that of a judging panel.

  2. David says:

    Interesting selection, Jackie, and as ever I’m sure quite a few will be right. I’ve read five of those and I’d definitely agree on ‘Station Eleven’ and ‘How to be Both’. For me ‘After the Flood’ had too many problems to wholly succeed but I know plenty of people loved it.
    No Marilynne Robinson? – it seems like I’ve read nothing but glowing praise for ‘Lila’. Personally I’d like to see Catherine Lacey’s ‘Nobody is Ever Missing’ sneak in there, and maybe even Carrie Snyder’s ‘Girl Runner’. Jane Smiley too, though ‘Some Luck’ did read very much as the first part of something larger and she’ll be eligible with both the second and third parts of her trilogy next year.

    1. Jackie says:

      David, You’re probably right about ‘Lila’. Not sure why I left it out – just some sort of weird gut instinct! I’m not a fan of Robinson and I have seen mixed reviews, but she definitely has the quality to be longlisted/shortlisted. You just never know how these things are going to go.

      I haven’t read Lacey or Snyder, but have heard good things about both. I’ll be interested to see which books the judges select.

  3. Christina says:

    I’ve only read two on your list — Station Eleven and All My Puny Sorrows. Both of which I was rather disappointed in for entirely different reasons. But All My Puny Sorrows was very popular with literary critics and was shortlisted for the Giller Prize.

    As for the others, The Girl on the Train has received a tremendous amount of buzz in the States. There’s almost 500 people in front of me in line for the book at the public library. And I was intrigued by Euphoria after hearing Lily King speak last fall during the Boston Book Festival. The rest are largely new to me, although I do recognize a few familiar authors.

    1. Jackie says:

      Christina, 500 people in front of you? Wow! Here in the UK I’m shocked if I ever see 5 people in a library queue – it isn’t something many people do here. Or perhaps it is just because I have the heads up and normally end up as number 1 or 2 in a queue?!

      It isn’t surprising that many are new to you. A lot of them probably haven’t made it to the US yet. I’m sure you’ll see them crop up in the months ahead. :-)

  4. Shan says:

    I have read 3 from your list (All My Puny Sorrows, The Girl on the Train, Etta and Otto.) I’d love to see All My Puny Sorrows on the list, it was my pick to win the Giller Prize and it won the Writers’ Trust Prize. Such a moving book. There are a few more on your list that I’m wanting to try!

    1. Jackie says:

      Shan, Puny Sorrows wasn’t to my taste as it was such a depressing subject matter, but it is such an important book and so well written. I hope it makes the cut too :-)

  5. litlove says:

    I hated The Girl on The Train, admired All My Puny Sorrows, thought After Me Comes the Flood was beautiful but sterile, and am currently reading and loving the Sarah Hall, The Wolf Border (though I think it will be a bit slow for you, Jackie). Looks like a really good list you’ve put together, and whatever else happens, I do hope Ali Smith is on it, as I love her books and am looking forward to reading this one.

    1. Jackie says:

      Litlove, I haven’t read Girl on The Train yet, but I think I’ll enjoy it more than you. There are usually a few lighter books on the longlist and Girl on the Train seems to be the most talked about one of the year.

      Sarah Hall is one of my favourite authors. She creates such a fantastic sense of place and puts such emotion into her characters that I don’t mind her slower pace. I may start it tonight – I hope I love it too!

  6. Nicola says:

    Yes, agree with you regarding Outline, Station Eleven and All My Puny Sorrows. Not sure about the Ng, though. I just didn’t think it was exceptional. I’d love to see Station Eleven win!

    1. Jackie says:

      Nicola, I haven’t tried the Ng yet (but I’m currently top of the library waiting list so should get it soon) but so many listed it as their favourite book in 2014. I look forward to finding out which side of the fence I’m on :-)

  7. Aparatchick says:

    Loved Station Eleven, thought Sarah Waters’ book was fine but not quite as good as others she’s written.

    I wouldn’t be surprised to see Marilynne Robinson’s Lila on the longlist. And I’ve had the same experience as Christina with regard to The Girl on the Train. I’m 296th on the hold list – and with only 9 copies, I’ll probably be reading it sometime next year!

    1. Jackie says:

      Aparatchick, I haven’t read Waters’ new book yet, but have heard a lot of people really enjoyed it. It would be almost impossible for anything to better Fingersmith so it is easy to see why she is isn’t quite living up to her previous books. I’ll be interested to see whether or not it makes the cut on Monday :-)

  8. Great minds! I posted my predictions today also and we had four in common (well I read 4 of the ones you listed). I usually never make predictions but I had a really strong reading year with some fantastic female authors. Looking forward to see what’s on the longlist. I’m gonna link your post on mine as well! :)

    1. Jackie says:

      Marisa, Great selections! Thank you for introducing me to A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara – I hadn’t heard anything about that one yet, but I can see it being longlisted. I’ll keep my fingers crossed for you!

  9. I really enjoyed The Miniaturist. I was disappointed by The Paying Guests, though I love Sarah Waters in general and found the writing quite lovely, but I found the behavior of the characters inconsistent and unconvincing. I’ll be reading Station Eleven soon and am really looking forward to it! I started reading The Girl on the Train but put it down after 50 pages, because I just couldn’t get into the writing style or the main character. I wanted to slap her and demand that she pull herself together.

    1. Jackie says:

      threegoodrats, I normally like reading books where I want to slap the central character! It at least shows the writer has created an engaging narrative. I’ll be interested to see how I get on with the writing style.

      1. I frequently like to read about unlikeable characters, but apparently not this one!

  10. Naomi Frisby says:

    Interesting list, Jackie. We’ve got nine in common and both me, you and Susan have gone for Sarah Perry. Will be great to see how they compare to the real thing.

    1. Jackie says:

      Naomi, Yes, I was surprised to see we’d all picked Perry’s book as I thought I was being quite left-field with that selection. I think it just shows how good her Twitter marketing has been!

      I look forward to seeing how our lists compare to the actual one :-)

  11. So looking forward to the list and love seeing yours come out, I am reading Anne Tyler at the moment and am interested in Euphoria, regardless of whether it makes the cut and I like the sound of Etta & Co for those moments when we need something of a more nurturing read. :)

    1. Jackie says:

      Claire, Yes, I’m going to read most of these, whether they make the actual list or not. Let’s hope they are as good as other people say they are!

  12. Marina Sofia says:

    I like your choices and predictions – and for once I’ve actually read a few of these! I loved Euphoria and Hausfrau, quite liked All My Puny Sorrows and Everything I Never Told You, was not all that impressed with Girl on the Train and feel like I really should read Anne Tyler and The Chimes (have a few of the others on my TBR shelf too).

    1. Jackie says:

      Thanks Marina, I look forward to seeing what you think of the others :-)

  13. Maryom says:

    I’ve read six of these – and my vote would go for Lucy Wood’s Weathering.

    1. Jackie says:

      Maryom, Yes, The Weathering sounds amazing. The snippets I’ve read make it sound like the sort of book I’ll love. I hope to read it very soon.

  14. I’ve avoided reading your post until I finalized my list (set to post tomorrow!) We share nine longlisted titles, and you have several I ended up cutting because there are so many slots. You also have some I’m not familiar with. I’m really pulling for both Euphoria and How to Be Both, as they were my two favorite reads of 2014. Very excited to see what makes the actual list next week (and to discussing it with you!)

    1. Jackie says:

      Carrie, Three of your selections were new to me, but I toyed with adding the rest at some point too! I look forward to seeing which books the real judges select – I’m sure there’ll be a few curve balls!

  15. Andi says:

    I love your predictions! If these come to pass I will have read three of the long listed books, which is more than I can usually claim!

    1. Jackie says:

      Thanks Andi! I hope you’ve read a record number of longlisted titles this year :-)

  16. Neil Ansell says:

    I have read three of these, After Me Comes the Flood, How To Be Both, and Weathering.
    Of these, perhaps my favourite was Weathering, though maybe because I have only just finished it and it is fresh in my mind. Captures the spirit of place extraordinarily well, and it’s such a rain-soaked place that you almost expect the pages of the book to drip on the floor as you read it.

    1. Jackie says:

      Neil, It’s good to hear another endorsement for Weathering. I’ve not heard a bad word against it yet.

  17. Sharlene says:

    I’ve only read two! Everything I Never Told You (which I didn’t like as much as everyone else seems to have) and Station Eleven (which I did). So no predictions from me, but I’m adding some of the books you’ve listed to my TBR list!

    1. Jackie says:

      Sharlene, Glad to hear that you’ve added to your TBR. I hope you enjoy them!

  18. Lucybird says:

    I’ve not read any of these, but I’ve seen Station 11, The Miniaturist and The Girl on the Train everywhere. So I can see those being picked.

    Elizabeth is Missing and How to be Both were both on the Booker list weren’t they? So I can see them both being on the list too.

    How to be Both is on my wishlist too.

    1. Jackie says:

      Lucybird, How to be Both was on the Booker, but Elizabeth is Missing wasn’t. Doesn’t mean they won’t both make this list though :-)

  19. Laurie C says:

    I read Carrie’s list first, but I’ve think I’ve read a couple more on your list than on hers. If Girl on a Train gets on the list, it would seem the judges are pandering to public opinion or trying to get more attention paid to the awards, I think! I love Anne Tyler’s books and don’t know why I haven’t read the new one yet!

    1. Jackie says:

      Laurie, I’m not sure about pandering to public opinion. I haven’t read the book, but lots of people really love it. That makes me think one of the judges might love it too. Everyone has different reading tastes so I’d expect a range of books – one of the reasons I don’t just select the books I enjoy for this list.

  20. Marie says:

    A great list, and seems quite on the money to me – I wouldn’t be surprised if at least half of these are chosen. Of the ones I’ve read, I absolutely loved The First Fifteen Lives Of Harry August. A unique premise and wonderfully written. I have Station Eleven lined up to read soon, though, and that has had fantastic reviews so I can’t wait to see what all the fuss is about.


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