Great Reads @BaileysPrize Fiction longlist is announced

Longlist for Bailey's Women's PrizeThe Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction longlist features some great reads. With five debut novelists and eight previously shortlisted authors, it showcases both rising stars and well-established writers.

Chair of the judging panel Shami Chakrabarti said: “The Prize’s 20th year is a particularly strong one for women’s fiction.  All judges fought hard for their favourites and the result is a 2015 list of 20 to be proud of – with its mix of genres and styles, first-timers and well-known names from around the world. There is a very strong showing of UK writers and we are all incredibly excited about the final stages of the search for the winner.”

The 20 books will be cut down to a shortlist of six and an overall winner will be chosen by 3rd June.

LonglistBAILEYS Women's Prize for Fiction

Click through on the links to find more information about the books.

Rachel Cusk-  Outline

Lissa Evans – Crooked Heart 5 star rated by Leeds readers

Patricia Ferguson – Aren’t We Sisters?

Xiaolu Guo – I Am China

Samantha Harvey –  Dear Thief

Emma Healey – Elizabeth is Missing

Emily St. John Mandel – Station Eleven

Grace McCleen – The Offering

Sandra Newman – The Country of Ice Cream Star

Heather O’Neill – The Girl Who Was Saturday Night

Laline Paull – The Bees

Marie Phillips – The Table of Less Valued Knights

Rachel Seiffert – The Walk Home

Kamila Shamsie – A God in Every Stone

Ali Smith – How to be Both

Sara Taylor – The Shore

Anne Tyler – A Spool of Blue Thread

Sarah Waters – The Paying Guests

Jemma Wayne – After Before

PP Wong – The Life of a Banana

The top 20 most influential books by women.

The Baileys women’s prize for fiction launched a campaign to find the novels, by women, “that have most impacted, shaped or changed readers’ lives”. After contributors including Mary Beard and Joanna Trollope chose their own most influential title, thousands of people – male and female – voted for their own selections.
Harper Lee’s ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ has come out on top.
“With human rights under attack the world over, the enduring appeal of Harper Lee’s great tale gives hope that justice and equality might yet triumph over prejudice,” said Shami Chakrabarti, who was also announced as chair of the judging panel for next year’s Baileys prize.
The top 20 most influential books by women, as voted for by the public:
1) To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee
2) The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood
3) Jane Eyre – Charlotte Brontë
4) Harry Potter – JK Rowling
5) Wuthering HeightsEmily Brontë
6) Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
7) Rebecca – Daphne du Maurier
8) Little Women – Louisa May Alcott
9) The Secret History – Donna Tartt
10) I Capture the Castle – Dodie Smith
11) The Bell Jar – Sylvia Plath
12) Beloved – Toni Morrison
13) Gone With the Wind – Margaret Mitchell
14) We Need To Talk About Kevin – Lionel Shriver
15) The Time Traveller’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger
16) Middlemarch – George Eliot
17) I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings – Maya Angelou
18) The Golden Notebook – Doris Lessing
19) The Colour Purple – Alice Walker
20) The Women’s Room – Marilyn French

Eimear McBride wins the 2014 Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction

coverphoto_851x315_01Irish author Eimear McBride has won the 2014 Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction with her debut novel, A Girl is Half-Formed Thing.

The novel tells the story of a young woman’s relationship with her brother after a tumour leaves him severely brain-damaged. Not so much a stream of consciousness, as an unconscious railing against a life that makes little sense, and a shocking and intimate insight into the thoughts, feelings and sensual urges of a vulnerable and isolated protagonist, to read ‘A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing’ is to plunge inside its narrator’s head, experiencing her world first-hand. This isn’t always comfortable – but it is always a revelation

The five judges were Caitlin Moran, Denise Mina, Helen Fraser, Mary Beard and Sophie Raworth, who chose the winner from six shortlisted books. Read our earlier blog post about shortlist



Helen Fraser, chair of judges, said of McBride’s winning novel: “An amazing and ambitious first novel that impressed the judges with its inventiveness and energy. This is an extraordinary new voice – this novel will move and astonish the reader.”

In addition,  #ThisBook campaign on Twitter aims to find the novel, written by a woman, that’s had the biggest impact on someone’s life.


BAILEYS Women's Prize for FictionWhich novel, written by a woman, has had the biggest impact on your life?

The Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction want readers across the nation to share their #ThisBook: the novel, by a female author, that has most impacted, shaped or changed their life.

To launch the #ThisBook campaign, 19 inspirational women, marking 19 years of the Baileys Women’s Prize, including Baroness Valerie Amos, Martha Lane Fox, Caitlin Moran, Joanna Trollope and Jennifer Saunders have said which books have most impacted, shaped or changed their lives.

Their #ThisBook’s include much loved classics such as To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, selected by Shami Chakrabarti; modern favourites like Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, identified by Tanni Grey Thompson; and Lionel Shriver’s 2005 Women’s Prize winner, We Need to Talk About Kevin, chosen by Susanna Reid.

A series of portraits and films have been captured by renowned photographer and filmmaker Alice Hawkins showcasing the nineteen women discussing their #ThisBook and bringing their personal stories to life. See the full list of #ThisBook

Join the conversation and nominate your #ThisBook! Simply submit your chosen novel via Twitter, using #ThisBook or visit to find out more. The nation’s #ThisBook Top 20 will be announced in July.

There’s a chance to win *signed copies* of the books chosen by the nineteen women taking part in the #ThisBook campaign, just keep an eye on the Twitter page

Bailey’s Women’s Prize for fiction shortlist

 These #Mustreads are from the shortlist of one of the most prestigious literary awards in the world, the BAILEYS Women’s Prize for Fiction – previously known as the Orange Prize for Fiction. The award celebrates excellence, originality and accessibility in women’s writing from throughout the world. The winner receives £30,000.

Americanah  (eBook)Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie From the award-winning author of ‘Half of a Yellow Sun’, a powerful story of love, race and identity. As teenagers in Lagos, Ifemelu and Obinze fall in love. Their Nigeria is under military dictatorship, and people are fleeing the country if they can. The self-assured Ifemelu departs for America. There she suffers defeats and triumphs, finds and loses relationships, all the while feeling the weight of something she never thought of back home: race

Burial Rites by Hannah Kent In northern Iceland, 1829, Agnes Magnúsdøttir is condemned to death for her part in the brutal murder of her lover. Sent to wait out her final months on the farm of district office Jøn Jønsson and family. Horrified to have a convicted murderer in their midst, they avoid contact with Agnes. Only Tøti, the young assistant priest appointed Agnes’s spiritual guardian, tries to understand her. As the year progresses and the hardships of rural life force the household to work side by side, Agnes’s story begins to emerge and with it the family’s terrible realization that all is not as they had assumed

A Girl Is a Half-Formed Thing by Eimear McBride a-girl_fb-500x697– on order. Won  the Goldsmiths prize, shortlisted for the Folio prize, this debut novel tells the story of a young woman’s relationship with her brother, and the long shadow cast by his childhood brain tumour. Not so much a stream of consciousness, as an unconscious railing against a life that makes little sense; a shocking and intimate insight into the thoughts, feelings and chaotic sexuality of a vulnerable and isolated protagonist.Touches on everything from family violence to sexuality and the personal struggle to remain intact in times of intense trauma.

  The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt  Aged 13, Theo Decker, son of a devoted mother and a reckless, largely absent father, survives an accident that otherwise tears his life apart. Alone and rudderless in New York, he is taken in by the family of a wealthy friend. Tormented by an unbearable longing for his mother, he clings to one thing that reminds him of her: a small, strangely captivating painting that ultimately draws him into the criminal underworld. As he grows up, he glides between the drawing rooms of the rich and the dusty antiques store where he works. He is alienated and in love; his talisman, the painting, places him at the centre of a narrowing, ever more dangerous circle

<i>The Lowland</i> by Jhumpa LahiriThe Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri Rated 5 star Epic in its canvas and intimate in its portrayal of lives undone and forged anew, ‘The Lowland’ is a deeply felt novel of family ties that entangle and fray in ways unforeseen and unrevealed, of ties that ineluctably define who we are. With all the hallmarks of Jhumpa Lahiri’s achingly poignant, exquisitely empathetic story-telling, this is her most devastating work of fiction to date

Cover artThe Undertaking by Audrey Magee  An immensely powerful first novel set in Germany and the Soviet Union during World War II, its ambition and achievement reminiscent of Rachel Seiffert’s ‘The Dark Room’, Hans Fallada’s ‘Alone in Berlin’, and Helen Dunmore’s ‘The Siege’