The longlist for the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction – one of the most prestigious and high-profile awards for women – was announced today, featuring five debut novelists and some strong Baileys Prize veterans.
This year’s panel of judges – chaired Liberty director Shami Chakrabarti – has read a total of 165 entries, which has been whittled down to a longlist of 20 novels, representing the best of international fiction written by women between 1 April 2014 and 31 March 2015.
Three authors on the list have been longlisted for the Prize before and a further eight authors have been previously shortlisted, two of those – including The Paying Guests author Sarah Waters – twice. Debuts, meanwhile, include the Costa-winning Elizabeth is Missing by Emma Healey, narrated by an elderly woman with dementia, and The Bees by Laline Paull, which is a dystopia set in a beehive.
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
So, what are your thoughts?