Baileys 2015

WHAT WE ARE THINKING: Is Colm Tóibín happy to sit this one out?

Article published on March 10, 2015.

The Bailey’s Women’s Prize for Fiction is, as Kate Mosse writes on its website,  “one of the most respected, most celebrated and most successful literary awards in the world . . . . [celebrating] the very best full length fiction written by women throughout the world.” Indeed, the highly regarded, former Editor in Chief of newbooks, Elsbeth Lindner, was one of the Prize Management Committee back when it was sponsored by Orange.

So the longlist has been announced (see below) but we can’t help wondering if Ali Smith sighed just a little at seeing her latest, How to Be Both, appear once again. Winning the £30k prize would  obviously be very welcome but this season she and Mr Tóibín seem to have featured regularly on such lists.

Unfortunately, he fails to qualify this time because this prize is only open to women. Why? When the Booker Prize of 1991 neglected to shortlist any books by a woman – despite some 60% of novels published that year being by female authors – a group of women and men – authors, publishers, agents, booksellers, librarians, journalists – met to discuss the issue. And the rest is history.

Anyway, we’re rooting for Ali once again (and commiserations to Colm).

The longlist is

Rachel Cusk: Outline

Lissa Evans: Crooked Heart

Patricia Ferguson: Aren’t We Sisters?

Xiaolu Guo: I Am China

Samantha Harvey: Dear Thief

Emma Healey: Elizabeth is Missing

Emily St. John Mandel: Station Eleven

Grace McCleen: The Offering

Sandra Newman: The Country of Ice Cream Star

Heather O’Neil: The Girl Who Was Saturday Night

Laline Paull: The Bees

Marie Phillips: The Table of Less Valued Knights

Rachel Seiffert: The Walk Home

Kamila Shamsie: A God in Every Stone

Ali Smith: How to be Both

Sara Taylor: The Shore

Anne Tyler: A Spool of Blue Thread

Sarah Waters: The Paying Guests

Jemma Wayne: After Before

PP Wong: The Life of a Banana

 

Guy Pringle, March 2015

 

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2015 International DUBLIN Literary Award

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