The long-list becomes the short-list and it looks like a strong line-up for the Women’s Prize for Fiction 2013. Here is the short list:
Kate Atkinson Life After Life – my review here
A M Homes May We Be Forgiven
Barbara Kingsolver Flight Behaviour
Hilary Mantel Bring Up the Bodies
Maria Semple Where’d You Go, Bernadette
Zadie Smith NW – my review here
Here’s what Miranda Johnson, Chair of the Judges had to say:
‘The task of reducing the list of submissions from over 140 to just 20 books was always going to be daunting, but this year’s infinite variety has made the task even trickier. The list we have ended up with is, we believe, truly representative of that diversity of style, content and provenance, and contains those works which genuinely inspired the most excitement and passion amongst the judges. I don’t anticipate the job becoming easier at the next stage!’
I have managed to read two that made it through, plus others from the long list including Honour, Ignorance and The Light Between Oceans. I am currently slow-reading Barbara Kingsolver’s Flight Behaviour, she won the prize in 2010 with The Lacuna, one of the first books I reviewed here. Zadie Smith is also a previous winner, her book On Beauty won in 2006.
I was sure that Atkinson and Smith would make the list, not only because the stories are engaging, but because they dare to step outside the ordinary and test the boundaries of convention, Life After Life likely to be a more popular read, but both deserving their place here.
I know many will be surprised yet delighted to see Maria Semple’s Where’s You Go Bernadette on the list and of course the inevitable Hilary Mantel, no surprise there. Will anyone be able to knock her off her current perch I wonder?
The winner will be announced at a ceremony at the Royal Festival Hall, London on 5 June.
The Guardian - Women’s prize for fiction reveals ‘staggeringly strong’ shortlist
Amid the terrible news that saddened and horrified us all in Boston yesterday, a day that should have been cause for calm celebration, the annual Pulitzer Prizes for 2013 were quietly announced.
The Snow Child was one of the three finalists for the fiction prize, the winner was The Orphan Master’s Son by Adam Johnson, a timely journey in the heart of North Korea.
It was good to see a non-fiction title I enjoyed and recommended last year Tom Reiss’s Black Count: Glory, Revolution, Betrayal, and the Real Count of Monte Cristo win the biography prize. My review here.