Women’s Fiction Prize 2017-08-27T11:02:52+00:00

I have yet to read a book from the Women’s Prize for Fiction longlist and find myself disappointed. At least, it hasn’t happened yet.

There are some that I’ve enjoyed more than others, yes. And some of the ones that I’ve read have felt long (like 2001’s Ahab’s Wife).

Some have been exhausting (like 2005’s We Need to Talk about Kevin), some have had some very sad bits (like 1999’s Poisonwood Bible).

Some I thought I might fall in love with but we only ended up having a brief fling (like 2000’s White Teeth), and some were incredibly painful to read (like 2008’s The Gathering).

But I’ve never finished a book on this list and felt that it was a waste of precious reading time.

So I plan to test the theory and keep reading. The jury announces their longlist in March and their winner in June, so I tend to step up the prizelist reading in between, but the rest of the reading year I just casually pick away at the backlist: in this way, I’ve added a lot of names to my favourite writers list.

2017’s List

Ayöbámi Adébáö Stay With Me (17)
Naomi Alderman The Power (17)
✔Margaret Atwood Hag-Seed (17)
Emma Flint Little Deaths (17)
Mary Gaitskill The Mare (17)
Linda Grant The Dark Circle (17)
Eimear McBride The Lesser Bohemians (17)
Fiona Melrose Midwinter (17)
C.E. Morgan The Sport of Kings (17)
✔Yewande Omotose The Woman Next Door (17)
Heather O’Neill The Lonely Hearts Hotel (17)
Sarah Perry The Essex Serpent (17)
Annie Proulx Barkskins (17)
Gwendoline Riley First Love (17)
✔Madeleine Thien Do Not Say We Have Nothing (17)
Rose Tremain The Gustav Sonata (17)


Leila Aboulela The Translator (00)
Leila Aboulela  Minaret (06)
Leila Aboulela Lyrics Alley (11)
Lorraine Adams Harbor (06)
Ayöbámi Adébáö Stay With Me (17)
Debra Adelaide  The Household Guide to Dying (09)
✔Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie Purple Hibiscus (SL04)
✔Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie Half of a Yellow Sun (W07)
✔Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie Americanah (SL14)
Naomi Alderman Disobedience (06)
Naomi Alderman The Power (17)
Kitty Aldridge Pop (02)
Kitty Aldridge A Trick I Learned from Dead Men (13)
Clare Allen Poppy Shakespeare (07)
Monica Ali Brick Lane (04)
Rosie Alison  The Very Thought of You (SL10)
Karin Altenberg   Island of Wings (12)
Anita Amirrezvani Blood Flowers (08)
Gaynor Arnold Girl in a Blue Dress (09)
✔Kate Atkinson   Case Histories (05)
Kate Atkinson   A God in Ruins (16)
Kate Atkinson Life After Life (SL13)
✔Margaret Atwood   Alias Grace (SL97)
✔Margaret Atwood   Blind Assassin (SL01)
✔Margaret Atwood Hag-Seed (17)
✔Margaret Atwood   Oryx and Crake (SL04)
✔Margaret Atwood Maddaddam (14)
Trezza Azzopardi The Hiding Place (01)

✔Anita Rau Badami The Hero’s Walk (02)
Kirsten Bakis Lives of the Monster Dogs (SL98)
✔Shauna Singh Baldwin What the Body Remembers (00)
Beryl Bainbridge Every Man for Himself (97)
Beryl Bainbridge Master Georgie (99)
Rupa Bajwa The Sari Shop (04)
Ros Barber The Marlowe Papers (13)
✔Pat Barker The Ghost Road (96)
Andrea Barrett The Voyage of the Narwhal  (99)
Shirley Barrett Rush Oh! (16)
Bella Bathurst Special (03)
Sandra Benitez Bitter Grounds (98)
Suzanne Berne Crime in the Neighbourhood (W99)
Suzanne Berne The Dogs of Littlefield (14)
Fatima Bhutto The Shadow of the Crescent Moon (14)
Carol Birch Jamrach’s Menagerie (11)
Julia Blackburn The Book of Colour (SL96)
Julia Blackburn The Leper’s Companion (SL99)
Shani Boianjiu The People of Forever Are Not Afraid (13)
Cynthia Bond Ruby (16)
Marilyn Bowering Visible Worlds (SL99)
Joan Brady Death Comes for Peter Pan (97)
Geraldine Brooks The Secret Chord (16)
Judy Budnitz If I Told You Once (SL00)
Anna Burns No Bones (SL02)

Claire Cameron The Bear (14)
Aifric Campbell On the Floor (12)
Jackie Capleton A Dictionary of Mutual Understanding (16)
Lea Carpenter Eleven Days (14)
Eleanor Catton The Luminaries (14)
✔Eleanor Catton The Rehearsal (10)
Becky Chambers The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet (16)
✔Tracy Chevalier Girl with a Pearl Earring (00)
Chaterine Chidgey In a Fishbone Church (99)
Sandra Cisneros Caramelo (03)
Clare Clark The Great Stink (05)
Clare Clark Savage Lands (10)
Ajay Close Official and Doubtful (96)
Kira Cochrane Escape Routes for Beginners (05)
Leah Hager Cohen  The Grief of Others (12)
Lindsey Collen The Rape of Sita (96)
Amanda Craig Hearts and Minds (10)
✔Rachel Cusk Arlington Park (SL07)
✔Rachel Cusk Outline (SL15)

Julia Darling Crocodile Soup (99)
Deborah Kay Davies Reasons She Goes to the Woods (14)
Jill Dawson Fred & Edie (SL01)
Jill Dawson Watch Me Disappear (06)
Janet Davey English Correspondence (03)
Stevie Davies The Element of Water (02)
Stevie Davies Kith & Kin (04)
Meaghan Delahunt In the Blue House (01)
Joolz Denby Billie Morgan (SL05)
Anita Desai Fasting, Feasting (00)
Anita Desai The Zigzag Way (05)
✔Kiran Desai The Inheritance of Loss (SL07)
Isla Dewar Keeping up with Magda (96)
Helen DeWitt The Last Samurai (01)
Joan Didion The Last Thing He Wanted (97)
Ellis Ni Dhuibhne The Dancers Dancing (SL00)
✔Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni The Mistress of Spices (97)
Emma Donoghue Room (SL11)
Emma Donoghue   The Sealed Letter (12)
Anne Donovan Buddha Da (SL03)
Tishani Doshi     The Pleasure Seekers (11)
Louise Doughty   Whatever You Love (11)
Maureen Duffy Restitution (99)
Stella Duffy State of Happiness (04)
Stella Duffy The Room of Lost Things (08)
Helen Dunmore A Spell of Winter (W96)
Helen Dunmore The Siege (SL02)
Helen Dunmore House of Orphans (06)

Esi Edugyan Half-Blood Blues (SL12)
Jennifer Egan A Visit from the Goon Squad (11)
Rachel Elliott Whispers through a Megaphone (16)
Lucy Ellman Man or Mango? (98)
Lucy Ellman Dot in the Universe (03)
Anne Enright  The Forgotten Waltz (SL12)
✔Anne Enright The Gathering (08)
Anne Enright The Green Road (16)
Lissa Evans Their Finest Hour and a Half (09)
Lissa Evans Crooked Heart (15)
Bernardine Evaristo Blonde Roots (09)
Barbara Ewing A Dangerous Vine (00)

Roopa Farooki  The Way Things Look to Me (10)
Roopa Farooki   The Flying Man (12)
Ellen Feldman Scottsboro (SL09)
Patricia Ferguson It So Happens (05)
Patricia Ferguson Peripheral Vision (07)
Patricia Ferguson Aren’t We Sisters? (15)
Melanie Finn Away From You (05)
Laura Fish Strange Music (09)
Penelope Fitzgerald The Blue Flower (96)
Emma Flint Little Deaths (17)
✔Gillian Flynn Gone Girl (13)
Leslie Forbes Fish, Blood & Bone (01)
Aminatta Forna The Memory of Love (SL11)
Margaret Forster Over (07)
Esther Freud Gaglow (98)
Esther Freud The Wild (01)
Nell Freudenberger The Dissident (07)

Mary Gaitskill The Mare (17)
V.V. Ganenshananthan Love Marriage (09)
Petina Gappah The Book of Memory (16)
Cristina Garcia The Aguero Sisters (98)
✔Jane Gardam Old Filth (SL05)
Maggie Gee The White Family (SL02)
Maggie Gee The Flood (04)
Sue Gee The Mysteries of Glass (05)
Elizabeth Gilbert The Signature of All Things (14)
Lesley Glaister Private Parts of Women (96)
Lesley Glaister Now You See Me (02)
Allegra Goodman Intuition (09)
Jo-Ann Godwin Danny Boy (00)
Vesna Goldsworthy Gorsky (16)
Nadine Gordimer The House Gun (98)
Jaimy Gordon Lord of Misrule (12)
✔Rebecca Gowers When to Walk (07)
Rebecca Gowers The Twisted Heart (10)
Laurie Graham Dog Days, Glenn Miller Nights (01)
Linda Grant The Cast Iron Shore (97)
Linda Grant The Dark Circle (17)
Linda Grant When I Lived in Modern Times (W00)
✔Linda Grant The Clothes on Their Backs (08)
Stephanie Grant The Passion of Alice (96)
Clio Gray The Anatomist’s Dream (16)
Alice Greenway White Ghost Girls (06)
Philippa Gregory The Constant Princess (06)
✔Kate Grenville The Idea of Perfection (W01)
✔Xiaolu Guo A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary for Lovers (SL07)
Xiaolu Guo I Am China (15)
Sunetra Gupta A Sin of Colour (00)

✔Tessa Hadley The Master Bedroom (08)
Tessa Hadley The London Train (11)
Sarah Hall The Electric Michelangelo (04)
✔Jane Hamilton Short History of a Prince (SL99)
Georgina Harding   Painter of Silence (12)
✔Jane Harris The Observations (SL07)
Jane Harris Gillespie and I (12)
Joanne Harris Five Quarters of the Orange (02)
Melissa Harrison At Hawthorn Time (16)
Sonya Hartnett What the Birds See (03)
✔Samantha Harvey The Wilderness (SL09)
Samantha Harvey Dear Thief (15)
Shirley Hazzard The Great Fire (SL04)
✔Emma Healey Elizabeth is Missing (15)
Miranda Hearn Nelson’s Daughter (05)
Zoe Heller Notes on a Scandal (04)
Emma Henderson Grace Williams Says it Loud (SL11)
✔Sheila Heti How Should a Person Be? (13)
Kathryn Heyman The Breaking (98)
Christine Dwyer Hickey Tatty (05)
Ingrid Hill Ursula, Under (05)
Laura Hird Born Free (00)
Sheri Holman The Mammoth Cheese (SL05)
A.M. Homes May We Be Forgiven (W13)
Chloe Hooper Child’s Book of True Crime (SL02)
Josephine Humphreys Nowhere Else on Earth (01)
Michelle Huneven Round Rock (98)
Samantha Hunt The Invention of Everything Else (SL09)
Samantha Hunt The Seas (11)
✔Nancy Huston Fault Lines (SL09)
Siri Hustvedt The Enchantment of Lily Dahl (97)
Siri Hustvedt What I Loved (03)
✔MJ Hyland Carry Me Down (07)
✔MJ Hyland This is How (10)

Liz Jensen Egg Dancing (96)
Liz Jensen Ark Baby (98)
Liz Jensen War Crimes for the Home (03)
Gail Jones Dreams of Speaking (06)
Gail Jones Sorry (08)
Sadie Jones The Outcast (SL08)
✔Sadie Jone Small Wars (10)

✔Joanna Kavenna The Birth of Love (11)
✔Jackie Kay Trumpet (99)
Francesca Kay The Translation of the Bones (12)
Nora Okja Keller Comfort Woman (99)
Nora Okja Keller Fox Girl (03)
Oonya Kempadoo Buxton Spice (99)
A.L. Kennedy So I am Glad (96)
A.L. Kennedy Everything you Need (00)
A.L. Kennedy The Blue Book (12)
Pagan Kennedy Spinsters (SL 96)
✔Hannah Kent Burial Rites (SL14)
✔Sue Monk Kidd The Secret Life of Bees (02)
Haven Kimmel The Solace of Leaving Early (03)
Jamaica Kincaid The Autobiography of my Mother (97)
Laurie R. King With Child (97)
✔Barbara Kingsolver Poisonwood Bible (SL99)
✔Barbara Kingsolver The Lacuna (SL10)
Barbara Kingsolver Flight Behavior (SL13)
Elizabeth Knox The Vintner’s Luck (99)
Deborah Copaken Kogan The Red Book (13)
Christina Koning Undiscovered Country (98)
Nicole Krauss Great House (SL11)
✔Nicole Krauss The History of Love (SL06)
✔Michelle de Kretser The Lost Dog (09)
Karla Kuba Marchlands (99)
Dinah Lee Küng A Visit from Voltaire (04)
✔Rachel Kushner The Flamethrowers (14)

Jhumpa Lahiri The Namesake (04)
Jhumpa Lahiri The Lowland (SL14)
✔Laila Lalami The Secret Son (10)
✔Lori Lansens The Girls (07)
Wendy Law-Yone   The Road to Wanting (11)
Julia Leigh The Hunter (00)
Andrea Levy Never far from Nowhere (96)
Andrea Levy Small Island (W04)
✔Andrea Levy The Long Song (10)
✔Marina Lewycka A Short History of Tractors in Ukranian (SL05)
Nell Leyshon Black Dirt (05)
Lauren Liebenberg The Voluptuous Delights of Peanut Butter and Jam (08)
Rosina Lippi Homestead (SL01)
✔Attica Locke Black Water Rising (SL10)
Attica Locke Pleasantville (16)
Joan London Gilgamesh (04)
Michelle Lovric The Remedy (05)

✔Ann-Marie Macdonald, Fall on Your Knees (97)
Shena Mackay, Heligoland (SL03)
Dierdre Madden, One by One in the Darkness (SL97)
Dierdre Madden, Molly Fox’s Birthday (SL09)
✔Audrey Magee The Undertaking (SL14)
✔Emily St. John Mandel Station Eleven (15)
Hilary Mantel, The Giant O’Brien (99)
Hilary Mantel, Beyond Black (SL06)
Hilary Mantel, Wolf Hall (SL10)
Hilary Mantel, Bring up the Bodies (SL13)
✔Valerie Martin, Property (W03)
Sarah May, The Internationals (04)
Eimear McBride A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing (W14)
Eimear McBride The Lesser Bohemians (17)
Maria McCann, The Wilding (10)
Grace McCleen The Offering 15)
Elizabeth McCracken, Niagara Falls All Over Again (02)
Alice McDermott, Charming Billy (00)
✔Lisa McInerney The Glorious Heresies (16)
Elizabeth McKenzie The Portable Veblen (16)
Fiona Melrose Midwinter (17)
✔Maile Meloy, Liars and Saints (SL05)
Pauline Melville, The Ventriloquist’s Tale (SL98)
✔Charlotte Mendelson, When We Were Bad (SL08)
Charlotte Mendelson Almost English (14)
Jane Mendelsohn, I Was Amelia Earhart (SL97)
✔Anne Michaels, Fugitive Pieces (W97)
Madeline Miller The Song of Achilles (W12)
Sue Miller, Lost in the Forest (06)
Jacquelyn Mitchard, The Most Wanted (99)
Drusilla Modjeska, The Orchard (98)
✔Deborah Moggach, In the Dark (08)
Nadifa Mohamed, Black Mamba Boy (10)
✔Lisa Moore, Alligator (07)
✔Lorrie Moore, The Gate at the Stairs (SL10)
C.E. Morgan The Sport of Kings (17)
Erin Morgenstern The Night Circus (12)
Toni Morrison, Paradise (99)
Toni Morrison, Love (04)
Toni Morrison, A Mercy (09)
Mary Morrissey, Mother of Pearl (96)

Bonnie Nadzam, Lamb (13)
✔Gina B. Nahai, Moonlight on the Avenue of Faith (00)
Anita Nair, Mistress (08)
✔Sena Jeter Naslund, Ahab’s Wife (01)
Barbara Neil, A History of Silence (99)
Sandra Newman The Country of Ice Cream Star (15)
✔Audrey Niffenegger, The Time Traveller’s Wife (04)
Sarah Novic Girl at War (16)

✔Téa Obreht, The Tiger’s Wife (W11)
Edna O’Brien, In the Forest (03)
Joyce Carol Oates, Middle Age (02)
Joyce Carol Oates, The Falls (05)
✔Joyce Carol Oates, Rape: A Love Story (06)
Gina Ochsner, The Russian Dream Book of Colour and Flight (09)
✔Catherine O’Flynn, What Was Lost (07)
Yewande Omotose The Woman Next Door (17)
✔Heather O’Neill, Lullabies for Little Criminals (SL08)
✔ Heather O’Neill The Girl Who Was Saturday Night (15)
Heather O’Neill The Lonely Hearts Hotel (17)
Julie Orringer, The Invisible Bridge (11)
Julie Otsuka, When the Emperor was Divine (03)
Cynthia Ozick Foreign Bodies (SL12)

Kathy Page, The Story of my Face (02)
Ann Patchett, The Magician’s Assistant (SL98)
✔Ann Patchett, Bel Canto (W02)
Ann Patchett, State of Wonder (SL12)
Laline Paull The Bees (SL15)
✔Anna Peile, Repeat it Today with Tears (11)
✔Stef Penney, The Tenderness of Wolves (07)
Emily Perkins, The Forrests (13)
Sarah Perry The Essex Serpent (17)
Marie Phillips The Table of Less Valued Knights (15)
✔Christine Pountney, Last Chance Texaco (00)
Nani Power, Crawling at Night (02)
Lily Prior, La Cucina (02)
E. Annie Proulx, Accordian Crimes (SL97)
Annie Proulx Barkskins (17)
Deirdre Purcell, Love like Hate (SL98)

✔Anna Quindlen, Black and Blue (98)
Anna Quindlen Still Life with Bread Crumbs (14)

Emma Richler, Sister Crazy (02)
Gwendoline Riley First Love (17)
Michelle Roberts, Impossible Saints (98)
Michèle Roberts, Ignorance (13)
Deborah Robertson, Careless (07)
Marilynne Robinson, Gilead (06)
Marilynne Robinson, Home (W09)
Julia Rochester The House at the Edge of the World (16)
Monique Roffey, The White Woman on the Green Bicycle (SL10)
Jane Rogers, Promised Lands (96)
Jane Rogers, Island (00)
Leone Ross, All the Blood is Red (97)
Hannah Rothschild The Improbability of Love (16)
Karen Russell, Swamplandia! (11)

Amy Sackville The Still Point (10)
Preeta Samarasan, Evening is the Whole Day (09)
Elspeth Sandys, River Lines (96)
Catherine Schine, The Love Letter (96)
Manda Scott, Hen’s Teeth (SL97)
Alice Sebold, The Lovely Bones (03)
Francesca Segal, The Innocents (13)
Rachel Seiffert, The Dark Room (02)
Rachel Seiffert, Afterwards (07)
Rachel Seiffert The Walk Home (15)
Maria Semple, Where’d You Go, Bernadette? (SL13)
Danzy Senna, From Caucasia, with Love (01)
✔Elif Shafak, The Bastard of Istanbul (08)
Elif Shafak, Honour (13)
Kamila Shamsie, Burnt Shadows (SL09)
Kamila Shamsie A God in Every Stone (SL15)
✔Carol Shields, Larry’s Party (W98)
✔Carol Shields, Unless (SL03)
Lola Shoneyin’s The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives (11)
Anita Shreve, The Weight of Water (SL98)
✔Lionel Shriver, We Need to Talk about Kevin (W05)
Paulina Simons, Red Leaves (97)
✔Curtis Sittenfeld, Prep (06)
✔Curtis Sittenfeld, American Wife (09)
Gillian Slovo, Ice Road (SL04)
✔Jane Smiley,Horse Heaven (SL01)
Jane Smiley, Ten Days in the Hills (07)
✔Ali Smith, Hotel World (SL01)
Ali Smith, The Accidental (SL06)
Ali Smith, There but for the (12)
Ali Smith How to be Both (W15)
✔Zadie Smith, White Teeth (SL00)
Zadie Smith,  The Autograph Man (SL03)
✔Zadie Smith, On Beauty (W06)
✔Zadie Smith, NW (SL13)
✔Dalia Sofer, The Septembers of Shiraz (08)
M.L. Stedman, The Light between Oceans (13)
✔Kathryn Stockett, The Help (10)
Anna Stothard, The Pink Hotel (12)
✔Elizabeth Strout, Amy and Isabelle (SL00)
Elizabeth Strout The Burgess Boys (14)
Elizabeth Strout My Name is Lucy Barton (16)
Marly Swick, Evening News (99)
Meera Syal, Anita and Me (97)

Amy Tan, The Hundred Secret Senses (SL96)
✔Amy Tan, The Bonesetter’s Daughter (01)
Donna Tartt, The Little Friend (SL03)
✔Donna Tartt The Goldfinch (SL14) Event, Book
Sara Taylor The Shore (15)
Roma Tearne, The Swimmer (11)
✔Madeleine Thien Do Not Say We Have Nothing (17)
✔Carrie Tiffany, Everyman’s Rules for Scientific Living (SL06)
Carrie Tiffany, Mateship with Birds (13)
✔Scarlet Thomas, The End of Mr. Y(08)
Stella Tillyard, Tides of War (12)
Miriam Toews, The Flying Troutmans (09)
Carol Topolski, Monster Love (08)
Rose Tremain,  The Colour (SL04)
Rose Tremain The Gustav Sonata (17)
✔Rose Tremain, The Road Home (W08)
Anne Tyler, Ladder of Years (SL96)
Anne Tyler, The Amateur Marriage (04)
✔Anne Tyler, Digging to America (SL07)
Anne Tyler A Spool of Blue Thread (SL15)

Jane Urquhart, The Underpainter (98)

Celestine Hitiura Vaite, Frangipani (06)

Amy Waldman, The Submission (12)
Melanie Wallace, The Housekeeper (07)
Tricia Wastvedt, The River (05)
✔Sarah Waters, Fingersmith (SL02)
✔Sarah Waters, The Night Watch (SL06)
✔Sarah Waters, The Little Stranger (10)
Sarah Waters, The Paying Guests (SL15)
Jemma Wayne, After Before (15)
Ann Weisgarber, The Personal History of Rachel DuPree (09)
✔Rebecca Wells, Divine Secrets of the Ya-ya Sisterhood (SL00)
Louise Welsh, The Cutting Room (03)
Marianne Wiggins, Eveless Eden (SL96)
Crystal Wilkinson, Water Street (03)
G Willow Wilson, Alif the Unseen (13)
Kathleen Winter, Annabel (SL11)
✔Jeanette Winterson, Gut Symmetries (97)
✔Jeanette Winterson, The Powerbook (01)
✔Meg Wolitzer, The Position (06)
PP Wong, The Life of a Banana (15)
✔Patricia Wood, The Lottery (SL08)

Hanya Yanagihara, A Little Life (16)
Louisa Young, Baby Love (98)

Mary Kay Zuravleff, The Frequency of Souls (97)