Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction Longlist 2017

Bookish Stuff, Literary Prizes / Wednesday, March 8th, 2017


The 2017 Baileys prize for women’s fiction longlist:

Stay With Me by Ayòbámi Adébáyò (Canongate)

The Power by Naomi Alderman (Viking)

Hag-Seed by Margaret Atwood (Hogarth)

Little Deaths by Emma Flint (Picador)

The Mare by Mary Gaitskill (Serpent’s Tail)

The Dark Circle by Linda Grant (Virago)

The Lesser Bohemians by Eimear McBride (Faber & Faber)

Midwinter by Fiona Melrose (Corsair)

The Sport of Kings by CE Morgan (4th Estate)

The Woman Next Door by Yewande Omotoso (Chatto & Windus)

The Lonely Hearts Hotel by Heather O’Neill (riverrun)

The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry (Serpent’s Tail)

Barkskins by Annie Proulx (4th Estate)

First Love by Gwendoline Riley (Granta)

Do Not Say We Have Nothing by Madeleine Thien (Granta)

The Gustav Sonata by Rose Tremain (Chatto & Windus)

So I only guessed two right. Now that I look at the list I should have suspected The Woman Next Door would wind up on the list. So hard to know with this prize.  The books I’m most interested to read are The Sport of Kings, The Power, Do not Say We Have Nothing(on my TBR this year), The Woman Next Door (on my TBR this year), Stay With Me, and finally The Lesser Bohemians.  Sadly the only book I’ve already read on this list is Barkskins.  It will be a tight race for the shortlist.  I’ll be trying to focus on the few I’ve named. So what do you think of this list? Do you feel it’s better than last year’s? I was a little surprised that Swing Time didn’t make it.  Thoughts?


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19 Replies to “Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction Longlist 2017”

  1. So glad to see Do Not Say We Have Nothing on this list. It should have won the Booker prize so maybe better luck with this prize. Woman Next Door was a surprise inclusion – I cant see it winning though I did enjoy it

    1. I’ve had Woman Next Door on my TBR since December. I’m definitely going to read it before the shortlist is chosen. Do Not Say We Have Nothing I hope to get to next month. I was happy with The Sellout winning the Man Booker though.

  2. I’d love to know what you think about The Sport of Kings – it has so much to say about America, history, race, politics, family, tyranny…

      1. I did, I thought it was phenomenal. Not without flaw, but it’s hard to write something over 500 pages without flaw, and Morgan’s ambition/potential are huge. I never, at any point, wanted to stop reading it.

  3. I don’t know if I’m really surprised about Swing Time, if I compare it to the only book I’ve read on this list “Do not say we have nothing”, I must admit that there is no comparison to make… and after reading your review of Barkskins, it just reinforces this thought. Even if I don’t really like the idea of “comparing books”, it’s like comparing people, makes no sense… Anyway, I don’t want to spoil you or influence your opinion about this book, but I’d love to talk about it after you read it.

    1. Well I can’t say I’ve heard one bad thing about Do Not Say We Have Nothing. So I’m going in with quite high expectations. I hope this isn’t a disaster wating to happen. Bandwagons usually fail me miserably. We will see…. Would love to speak with you about it when I’m done. As for comparing books I agree it’s very difficult and often makes no sense. Did you like Swing Time? It’s about execution, but mostly political. Are there any of these that you’d like to read?

  4. I am a bit dissapointed about Homegoing not being on that list. Also I would have loved to see a nod for Welcome to Lagos, maybe not shortlist but at least longlist. But I did not think it would make the list hence I am way more disappointed about Homegoing. Also surprised about Atumn not being there – I really did love it.

    That said Do Not Say We Have Nothing was one of my favourite books of last year. It was my pick for the Booker (even though I was not sad to see The Sellout win). I now just read The Woman Next Door and it was a fun read, but I do not know how substantial in the long run. I am now in the middle of The Dark Circle and really into it at the moment (I have to admit before the longlist announcement I had not heard about this novel nor about Linda Grant, but the description and the first pages made me want to read it immediatly.) I have also read the first chapter of Midwinter, but it was not the right book for me right now.

    1. Yes a lot of people were disappointed about Homegoing. I was disappointed about Here comes the Sun. I was sure it was going to be on the list. Oh well every year is the same. I’m always surprised by the list of book they pick. Happy to see Barkskins on there. Do Not Say We Have Nothing I almost read last year but could never get around to it. Welcome to Lagos I’ll be getting to in the spring or summer. I was not interested by The Dark Circle at all. Which ones do you think will wind up on the shortlist?

  5. Disappointed not to see Homegoing on the list, I think it’s a minor masterpiece and something new in the way of narrating historical fiction and social consciousness, it really reminded me of Maryse Condé and what she did with Segu, which shows the historical influences through one family of four brothers.

    I’m always straight away looking for new voices from other cultures, or with influences from outside the anglo-american literary diet, so I immediately got myself copies of Stay With Me and The Woman Next Door and I’ll be reading the Madeleine Thien eventually as well.

    I was given Essex Serpent for my bday, and sounds like its an entertaining read, and as you know I read the doorstopper Barkskins, which is an interesting result of ten years of research and has a couple of engaging characters, but somewhat flawed in its execution, I had an easier time following Yaa Gyasi’s 300 year generational history than I did Annie Proulx’s.

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