On Monday, lovely team Bailey’s Prize announced their final six books making it into the shortlist for 2016. For those who aren’t familiar with the Women’s Prize for Fiction, the prize began officially twenty years ago in response to a male dominated Man Booker Prize in 1991. A group of book lovers met to start their own prize, and thanks to Orange’s original support the Women’s Prize for Fiction launched in 1996, with the first winner being Helen Dunmore for A Spell Of Winter.
Followers of Hux Tales will know that I am a mere 50% through the longlist (I am Lucy Barton finished and awaiting blog, and I’m almost done reading The House at the Edge of the World) but I plan to continue my reviews and replace the “why it should win” section with “why it should have won” in future reviews for books not on the shortlist.
So, on to the shortlist. Firstly there are two books that I haven’t gotten around to yet, those being Ruby by Cynthia Bond which I am very excited to read and The Green Road by Anne Enright. Team Bailey’s have kindly offered to send me over copies of both so I’ll bump forward their reviews once they arrive. I’m equally surprised that Kate Atkinson’s A God in Ruins didn’t make the shortlist after its luck in the Costa Prize and accolades.
A Little Life was on there which is no surprise to me at all. I continue to think it’s probably going to be this year’s winner. The Portable Veblen and The Glorious Heresies are both books I’ve very recently reviewed and enjoyed. I’m really sad that At Hawthorn Time and I am Lucy Barton didn’t make it on there because I enjoyed them just as much as both of these, and in terms of personal feelings of enjoyment my favourite has probably been The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet but I didn’t think it would make the shortlist.
Just so you know, the announcement came out while I was listening to Malorie Blackman talk about writing children’s literature and I was completely starry eyed, so my pal Sim who works in the same shop as me sent me a whatsapp alerting me that The Improbability of Love had made the shortlist. Now, my most read blog in the last few weeks has been that on The Improbability of Love, a book that I found to be a jumbled mess of too many ideas. So do you know what I might do, reader? I might try and finish the thing and update my blog review with a “several weeks later follow up”. I’m not going to alter what I said the first time and I stand by the idea that if a book doesn’t grasp me in the first 50% of it, I’m not going to love it. But I have decided and I shall do it. I really dislike giving up on books as it is and I’m just going to commit myself and finish it.
More reviews coming soon, but I’ve been spending the last few days using my writing hours to work on my novel, thoroughly inspired by listening to a talk by Malorie Blackman and attending a panel on narrative in interactive media with Leigh Alexander, Gabrielle Kent, Rhianna Pratchett and Rob Morgan. I will probably talk about it at some point in the future but for now just know it is a thing coming into existence. I’m pregnant with a book? Ew that sounds gross.