The 2013 Women’s Prize for Fiction (formerly known as the Orange Prize) just announced the longlist for 2013.The 6-member jury noted that the task of selecting only 20 titles from the 140 submitted was not an easy one. However, the Chair of Judges, Miranda Richardson, also added that “The list we have ended up with is, we believe, truly representative of that diversity of style, content and provenance, and contains those works which genuinely inspired the most excitement and passion amongst the judges. I don’t anticipate the job becoming easier at the next stage!”
There is no doubt that this year’s longlist features an amazing breath of literary genres as well as a wide diversity of authors, from well-established award winners like Hilary Mantel, to the darling of bestsellers Gillian Flynn, not to mention six debut authors. These 20 selected books cover many different subjects and themes: the only thing that seems to be of special distinction, as noted by The Guardian, is that this year’s selection has a rather large proportion of novels told by women, but through a male protagonist voice. Hmm…interesting trend. It’s also extremely interesting to see who was left off this list: JK Rowling, Toni Morrison, Nicola Barker, Deborah Levy and Alison Moore. Nonetheless, the jury hasn’t shied away from controversy, especially by including Sheila Heiti’s latest novel How Should a Person Be? which attracted major discussion over the simple question of whether or not it is a novel. So what will happen next? Will Hilary Mantel add yet another prize to her already very impressive collection of major wins, or will they favour a newcomer?
The shortlist will be announced on April 16th and the winner will be presented with a £30,000 cheque and a limited edition bronze known as a ‘Bessie,’ created and donated by the artist Grizel Niven. No matter who the winner is, this longlist offers a great selection of titles for anybody who not only likes fiction by women, but also enjoys great writing. Add these amazing books to your bookshelf by visiting our Women’s Prize for Fiction featured bookshelf and simply click Add all books to my bookshelf. We would love to hear if you have any favourites on this list. Any dark horses? Any predictions? The Longlist Kitty Aldridge A Trick I Learned From Dead Men Kate Atkinson Life After Life Ros Barber The Marlowe Papers Shani Boianjiu The People of Forever are Not Afraid Gillian Flynn Gone Girl Sheila Heti How Should A Person Be? A.M. Homes May We Be Forgiven Barbara Kingsolver Flight Behavior Deborah Copaken Kogan The Red Book Hilary Mantel Bring Up the Bodies Bonnie Nadzam Lamb Emily Perkins The Forrests Michèle Roberts Ignorance Francesca Segal The Innocents Maria Semple Where’d You Go, Bernadette Elif Shafak Honour Zadie Smith NW ML Stedman The Light Between Oceans Carrie Tiffany Mateship with Birds G Willow Wilson Alif the Unseen