Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction 2016 Shortlist

The Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction  2016 Shortlist was announced earlier today.  I have to say I’m a little disappointed. I expected  a stronger less predictable shortlist.  I’ve read only two titles from this shortlist and neither of them rocked my world – The Green Road by Anne Enright and Ruby by Cynthia Bond.  The only others on this shortlist I planned on reading are A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara (sick of hearing about it) and The Glorious Heresies by Lisa McInerney.  So here is the shortlist in full.  Do you find any of these intriguing?  Are you planning on reading any of these?  If so which ones? What do you think of this shortlist?

the green road    the improbability of love   a little life

the glorious heresies    ruby   the portable veblen

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19 Comments

  1. I did not like Ruby at all. Surprised it made the list. Loved Little Life, but I get that it wasn’t everyone’s cup of tea. I’ve heard that Portable Veblen is very fun. I have a copy of that one at home and hope to get to it in the next few weeks.

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  2. I’m reading The Glorious Heresies right now and am extremely impressed with it; I plan to read Ruby next. I’ve read A Little Life (you might as well get it out of the way. It was fine but did not rock my world, as you said of Ruby.) I’m genuinely shocked by the inclusion of The Improbability of Love. I thought it was a clumsily written novel that hadn’t been properly proofread, and that wasn’t saying much of interest. If the judges had wanted to include something humorous or gentle, they should have gone for Rush Oh! or The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet. What weird choices they’ve made this year! (And don’t even get me started on the failure to include A God In Ruins…)

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    • Will definitely get to The Glorious Heresies, since I had put it on my list to read from the longlist. Ruby oh boy! I’ll let you read it and come back and tell me what you think. I was surprised that The Improbability of Love made it too. I scratched that one of the longlist as soon as I saw it. Yes disappointing for A God in Ruins and The Book of Memory. I was also hoping Pleasantville would make it. Yes a very disappointing shortlist but I’m starting to dislike literary prizes at this point. It seems too political and no one ever seems to be chosen without an ulterior motive.

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      • I think the key thing to remember with lit prizes is that they’re utterly subjective. The Baileys Prize in particular tends to get on my nerves because the judging panel often doesn’t strike me as especially well qualified to comment on books, per se – just being a woman in the public eye doesn’t make you a competent critic. (I know that makes me sound like an elitist jerk, but I honestly think the shortlist often doesn’t represent the best books written by women in the past year AT ALL, and I suspect the judges not being accustomed to critically assessing a high volume of books is one reason for that.)

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