Stuck for something substantial to read this Spring? Why not pick one (or all) of these books announced this week as being on the shortlist for this year’s Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction.
The six novels were whittled down from 150 by an esteemed panel of female judges that includes: Sam Baker, co-founder of The Pool, newscaster Katie Derham, author/essayist Aminatta Forna and comic/author Sarah Pascoe. The shortlist consists of an eclectic mix of narratives: from 19th Century Kentucky via a dystopian future, back to post-war East End, to 1980s Nigeria via the Chinese Cultural revolution and a modern dissection of a marriage. The overall winner will be announced on June 7th, but until then here’s the final 6 on the shortlist:
our 3 must-reads
We’re unlikely to be able to each read more than one title from the shortlist before June 7 (bah! kids/work/house/life admin etc…) so here are our 3 picks:
ali – The Dark Circle by Linda Grant
I’m a fan of Linda Grant and I’m also fascinated by the 1950s so her portrayal of that time – as seen through the eyes of 19 year old East End twins Lenny and Miriam Lynskey who are sent to a sanatorium in the Kent countryside after contracting tubercolosis – appeals because I can imagine her insightful, intelligent evocative writing and fascinating characterisation of the inhabitants of the sanatorium: all post-War prisoners of a new time.
ashling – First Love by Gwendoline Riley
Riley writes powerful portrayals of women and this novel examines a toxic marriage through the eyes of Neve, a woman in her mid-30s who is married to an older man. I’m intrigued by the intricacies of everyday life and relationships and this seems like a beautiful yet complicated journey of love and turmoil – the premise already has me hooked.
robyn – The Power by Naomi Alderman
Sci-fi isn’t a genre I actively reach for, but, after looking through the shortlist, I was drawn to this novel. Set in a dystopian future where women have the power to electrocute with the power of their fingers, I’m intrigued to read about the relationship between the abused and their abusers and think it’ll be an unputdownable novel.