The Baileys Prize Longlist for 2016 has been announced and I couldn’t be more excited! After all the speculation and looking through the tremendous novels published by women in the past year here are the twenty chosen novels. There are some familiar books I’ve already read, some I’ve seen mentioned multiple times and others I’ve never even heard of! I correctly predicted five books that appear on the list and there are many more I'm eagerly looking forward to reading.
I’m thrilled to see Anne Enright, Elizabeth McKenzie, Sara Novic, Elizabeth Strout and Hanya Hanagihari on this list as I've already read and hugely enjoyed their novels. I’ve seen promising reviews of the books by Atkinson, Barrett, Brooks and Rochester. Plus I’m particularly excited about reading Lisa McInerney's novel as I was really struck by her short story in the anthology The Long Gaze Back.
Now for the exciting bit of the Baileys Bearded Book Club! Simon and I will be reading all the longlisted novels and sharing our thoughts with you along the way. We would absolutely love if you read along with us. I'll also be reading books as part of a shadow panel where we'll be debating the books privately and choosing our own winner. Last year we correctly guessed the winner. Will we do it again this year?
But which novel to start with first? What are you most excited to read from this wonderful list?
The Green Road by Anne Enright
The Portable Veblen by Elizabeth McKenzie
Girl at War by Sara Novic
My Name is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout
A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara
A God in Ruins by Kate Atkinson
Rush Oh! by Shirley Barrett
Ruby by Cynthia Bond
The Secret Chord by Geraldine Brooks
The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers
A Dictionary of Mutual Understanding by Jackie Copleton
Whispers Through a Megaphone by Rachel Elliott
The Book of Memory by Petina Gappah
Gorsky by Vesna Goldsworthy
The Anatomist’s Dream by Clio Gray
At Hawthorn Time by Melissa Harrison
Pleasantville by Attica Locke
The Glorious Heresies by Lisa McInerney
The House at the Edge of the World by Julia Rochester
The Improbability of Love by Hannah Rothschild
The Baileys Prize shortlist will appear on April 11th and the winner will be announced on June 8th. Let's get reading!
Listen to a podcast from The Readers where Simon and I discuss why we love the prize and the longlist: