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.
It’s almost time! The Bailey’s Women’s Prize for Fiction longlist will be announced next Tuesday, 8th March. Once again, I’ll be shadowing the prize and for the second year running, I’ll be doing so with a panel. I’ll introduce you to the members of that panel on Friday.
For now though, here are the books I’d like to see appear on Tuesday’s list. They’re a combination of books I’ve loved and those I’m keen to read based on what I’ve heard about them so far. I’ve had to cull this list significantly to keep it to 20 books so, as usual, anything’s possible with the real one!
To be eligible, books have to be written in English and first published in the UK between 1st April 2015 and 31st March 2016. Publishers can enter three full length novels per imprint plus anything eligible by writers who have previously won the prize.
I’ve reviewed the first eleven titles – click on the covers to go to my reviews – and read the next three as well (reviews coming soon).