One of my favourite times of the reading year! Last year I posted about Orange Prize longlisted works on Mondays and Thursdays throughout Orange Prize Season, but this year I will be selecting specific weeks that will focus on All-Things-Orange.
I can hardly wait, though I still need to finish a few chapters in other reads to ensure a fresh palate. And there will be a brief hiatus in the Alice Munro Reading Project, so that there can be daily posts from April 1st to April 12th, when the prize’s shortlist will be announced. Yes, Made-from-Concentrate Orange-Goodness, served daily. And, again, throughout the week of May 16th to May 22nd, and also June 6th to June 8th, when the winner will be announced.
This year I’m hoping to best my personal record of reading 16 of the 20 longlisted titles, but I’ll make do with extra helpings of past years’ longlists if necessary. But more of the titles are available overseas this year, it seems, so I am more determined than ever.
If you follow along here, you know that I frequently go off on reading tangents, that more than half of my reading is of books published more than ten years ago, and that I read more Canlit than anything else. Which hardly qualifies me as a predictor of literary prize nominees. I just don’t have the juice!
But I had thought these titles might have been included in the line-up (though I could hardly take personal offense, because I haven’t yet read most of them myself and I have no idea whether the books were put forward by their publishers to begin with):
Camilla Gibb’s The Beauty of Humanity Movement;
Lisa Moore’s February;
Anne Michaels’ The Winter Vault;
Beth Powning’s The Sea Captain’s Wife;
Johanna Skibsrub’s The Sentimentalists;
Jane Urquhart’s Sanctuary Line; and
Alissa York’s Fauna.
Of this year’s longlisted titles, the only one that I’ve read is Emma Donoghue’s Room, and I read it over the winter holidays, delighting in the fact that I wasn’t troubling to take notes. Which meant that I never posted about it. Ironically. So even that will require a re-read (somewhat relunctantly). But the rest are fresh-squeezed Orange reads, which I’m aiming for in the following sequence.
Swamplandia! – Karen Russell (Chatto & Windus) – American; 1st Novel
Annabel – Kathleen Winter (Jonathan Cape) – Canadian; 1st Novel
Great House – Nicole Krauss (Viking) – American; 3rd Novel
Whatever You Love – Louise Doughty (Faber and Faber) – British; 6th Novel
The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives – Lola Shoneyin (Serpent’s Tail) – British/Nigerian; 1st Novel
The Pleasure Seekers by Tishani Doshi (Bloomsbury) – Indian; 1st Novel
Grace Williams Says it Loud by Emma Henderson (Sceptre) – British; 1st Novel
The Tiger’s Wife by Téa Obreht (Weidenfeld & Nicolson) – Serbian/American; 1st Novel
The Invisible Bridge by Julie Orringer (Viking) – American; 1st Novel
The Swimmer by Roma Tearne (Harper Press) – British; 4th Novel
A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan (Corsair) – American; 4th Novel
The Birth of Love by Joanna Kavenna (Faber and Faber) – British; 2nd Novel
Lyrics Alley by Leila Aboulela (Weidenfeld & Nicolson) – Sudanese; 3rd Novel
Room by Emma Donoghue (Picador) – Irish; 7th Novel
The Road to Wanting by Wendy Law-Yone (Chatto & Windus) – American; 3rd Novel
The Memory of Love by Aminatta Forna (Bloomsbury) – British/Sierra Leonean; 2nd Novel
The London Train by Tessa Hadley (Jonathan Cape) – British; 4th Novel
The Seas by Samantha Hunt (Corsair) – American; 1st Novel
Jamrach’s Menagerie by Carol Birch (Canongate) – British; 10th Novel
Repeat it Today with Tears by Anne Peile (Serpent’s Tail) – British; 1st Novel
Surely there’s a way to make the selection process sound all scientific, but I’m just trying to predict shipping dates and sprinkle the books I own amongst the yet-to-be-acquired.
Is there anyone else who’s angling for a larger-than-reasonable helping of these titles?