The Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction 2016 Shadow Panel Winner

The official winner of the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction 2016 will be announced tomorrow evening. Prior to that, our shadow panel have chosen a winner from our shortlist. *drumroll*


It was a unanimous decision based upon our re-reading of the novels we’d chosen for our shortlist. A God in Ruins not only stood up to a second read but was the novel we all got something more from second time around. That something ranged between concerns about characterisation dissipating to sheer marvel at how Atkinson plants throughout the book the idea that this is fiction, moving effortlessly through the time and space of her world without ever sacrificing the story.

Inevitably we discussed the decision by the official panel not to include the book on their shortlist. We’re still baffled. However, that didn’t have a baring on our decision other than the fact that we believe A God in Ruins was the best book on the longlist, indeed was one of the books of 2015.

0 thoughts on “The Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction 2016 Shadow Panel Winner

  1. Bravo and great decision, what a pity it wasn’t included on the shortlist, it’s baffling indeed that Atkinson is such w hit with readers and often astray of judges and panels.

  2. Think you may have just made the Alternate Universe Correct Baileys Prize 2016 Decision. Out of interest, do you have a favourite to win the real deal? I’d love it to be The Glorious Heresies but suspect The Green Road.

    • The Glorious Heresies also my favourite from the real list. I suspect The Green Road is only the bookies’ favourite because Enright’s an established writer. Very hard to judge.

      • I thought as much too – haven’t read The Green Road yet, but getting a copy from colleague today. Could be good, although the blurb makes me go “mehhhh” inside.

        • My problem was with the structure. The writing’s fantastic but the first half is essentially five interlinked short stories and the second half’s a novella in which little happens.

          • I’m wondering if the disconnection of the final part was actually done purposefully by the author. It’s sad to think you can all grow up together and have so little in common in the end. But it does happen, all Hollywood family reunion films notwithstanding.

          • I’m sure it was and I didn’t have a problem with that in itself. In fact, the first time I read it I preferred the second half. It didn’t stand up to a second reading though, it just felt stagnant and while that might be true to life, it doesn’t make for an interesting read.

  3. I have this book on the shelf, but not read it yet. This one didnt get to the shortlist, right? Cant wait for the original results. I found reviews of Improbablity of love and Ruby to be inrriguing. However I heard alot of equally positive and negative reviews on both that I didnt pick either yet. I fear IOL might be boring and Ruby too graphic for my tastes

    • No, it didn’t make the official shortlist which I think was a mistake. I thought The Improbability of Love was awful, I’m afraid. Ruby I found brilliant but you’re right, it is graphic.

  4. There you go 😉 That happened to us too a few years back – always nice to gently remind the judges that they messed up!

  5. To me, Atkinson is like the Meryl Streep of writing. She’s so good that I think she’s can be dismissed as there is really no comparison.

    I read all shortlist–couldn’t finish IOL like many– and would say Glorious Heresies. Loved Green Road. But my secret wish is for Veblen. I think there is so much brilliance in that book.