The Women’s Prize 2020 longlist was just announced very late in the evening few days ago. I woke up to the news on Twitter the next day. As disappointed as I was with the prize last year, you’re probably wondering what the heck am I doing on here posting about it this year. I couldn’t resist checking out the longlist. I wanted to see who they included and who they left out. This is the Prize’s 25th year so I secretly hoped they’d get it right, but no. They chose 16 books but as always there is at least one that makes you scratch your head and say to yourself, “What’s that doing there?” Yes, I’m referring to Queenie, the book that the British are marketing as a black Bridget Jones Diary. Smh… The last time I checked that book was NOT funny at all.
Of the 16 books on the longlist I’ve only read 2: Queenie ♥ and Red at the Bone ♥♥♥♥♥ (loved, beautifully written). Despite that there are a few that I actually own and are planning to read like Girl, Woman, Other, Fleishman’s in Trouble, The Most Fun We Ever Had, and lastly The Dutch House. I would like to eventually pick up Girl, Dominicana, and The Mirror and the Light (I haven’t read Bring Up the Bodies yet), but I don’t own these books yet. So no pressure for me. I won’t be reading through the entire list this year, just the ones I’ve got.
Combing this list the first time I was shocked to see that Ducks Newburyport, The Parisian, The Confessions of Franny Langdon, and Patsy weren’t on the list. I was thrilled to see that The Testaments wasn’t on the list. Whew! What a relief! The judges say they are looking for something different and something that they’ll find hard to put down. Well we’ll see the real direction they go in when they announce the shortlist on April 22. The winner will take home a 30,000£ check and limited-edition bronze figurine called Bessie created by the artist Grizel Niven on June 3. I’m already predicting that Queenie, The Mirror and the Light, and Actress will make it on the shortlist. Let’s see if I’m right. 😉
As for the judges, we have:
Martha Lane Fox (The Chair of Judges): businesswoman, philanthropist, public servant
Scarlett Curtis: writer, activist
Melanie Eusebe: co-founder of the Black British Business Awards
Viv Groskop: author, comedian
Paula Hawkins: international bestselling author
If you’d like to pick up a copy of any of my recommendations or just shop for yourself please consider clicking my affiliate link for The Book Depository. It would be much appreciated. It will help fund my incessant book buying, reading, and reviewing. Thank you!