The shortlist for this year’s Women’s Prize for Fiction was announced today, and we have the following:
I didn’t post my shortlist prediction on my blog, but on Twitter I guessed the following: Sight, When I Hit You, Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, Elmet, Home Fire, and Sing, Unburied, Sing, so I got 4/6! I’m really gutted that Elmet didn’t make the cut – I think it’s an extraordinary novel that deserves the recognition.
Of the shortlist, I’ve read 3 so far: Sight, Home Fire, and Sing, Unburied, Sing. My thoughts can be summed up briefly:
Sight: An incredibly ambitious novel that I wanted to love more than I ultimately did. I love all things introspective, but this at times got a bit solipsistic for my tastes. Full review to come later today, hopefully.
Home Fire: A brilliant retelling of Antigone that amplifies themes present in the original play, and repurposes them for a host of Muslim characters living in the UK in the present day. I really enjoyed this. And got into a 10-hour argument about it on Goodreads yesterday. Full review here.
Sing, Unburied, Sing: I wanted to love this, not least of all because Jesmyn Ward is a professor at my alma mater. But I did not. Though I agree with all of this novel’s messages, I felt that they were presented in an extremely heavy-handed way which didn’t leave much room for the reader to engage intellectually or emotionally. Full review here.
The only other longlisted book that I’ve read which I haven’t mentioned here is See What I Have Done, and I am overjoyed to see that it didn’t make the shortlist, to say the least.
Of the shortlisted books I haven’t read, I’m most looking forward to When I Hit You. I’ve heard nothing but good things. I ordered it last week so it should arrive any day now. I’m sort of on the fence about reading The Idiot and The Mermaid and Mrs. Hancock – I hadn’t initially been planning on reading either of them, but since I’ll soon have read the majority of the shortlist, I almost feel like I might as well…
I know it’s too soon to predict a winner as I haven’t even read the full shortlist, but my impression right now is that it’s 50/50 between Sight and When I Hit You.
What do you guys think of the shortlist? How many of these have you read? Who do you think is going to win? Comment and let me know!