33 comments on “Reading the Women’s Prize Longlist | Wrap Up, Wish List & Shortlist Predictions

  1. Well done! Of the books on the list I have read I agree that I would love to see either Ghost Wall or Normal People win. I also really loved Silence of the Girls but I think you might be right that Circe will end up on the shortlist instead.

    It is like you read my mind! I was so sad to see that The Water Cure and Bitter Orange didn’t make the list. They are two of the best books I have read this year.

    • Thank you! That’s so cool that we’re rooting for the same books 😊📚 And yes, there are always going to be great books that don’t make the cut, but I think they would both have been worthy additions!

  2. Wonderful post! I will not finish the longlist in time for the shortlist announcement and thus am unsure whether I will do a prediction post at all. I think your predictions are fairly correct, these do seem to be the books most likely to make it.
    Like you I’d be incredulous if Swan Song made the list, even if I didn’t hate it quite as much as you did. Similarly, I don’t want neither Praise Song nor Chinese Restaurant to make it.

    • Thank you so much! Do you think you’ll finish before the winner is announced?

      I’m starting to get that mix of excitement and nerves for the shortlist! Here’s hoping Swan Song isn’t there, for both our sakes 😂

      • I really hope so. But I haven’t been reading as much as normal lately, so I don’t know. It depends how much I like the rest of the list, I guess.
        I am a bit worried about the shortlist because I haven’t loved all that many books so far.

        • I know what you mean. Part of the reason I pushed to finish when I did was the fear I’d be underwhelmed by the shortlist. If it was made up of the ones I hadn’t read yet and was least interested in, it would have felt like a big effort to pick them up.

          Not that I’m trying to put you off! I’m excited to see what everyone’s overall thoughts are once they’ve reached the finish line.

  3. Ooh this is a great format for a wrap up post, I may copy this… provided I finish fucking Swan Song in the next week. So, I will keep my shortlist wants and predictions secret until then, but I’m sure you can guess most of what’s going to be on there. I’m so happy you decided to commit to the list, the group chat has been such fun!

  4. I didn’t do the list, but I’ve read “Ghost Wall” and “The Pisces.” I’ve never read a more unpretentious novel than Ghost Wall. I love how it was such a short experience, but I didn’t want to leave. It almost felt too fast. I even considered a reread, but it was too frightening to relive (I’m still a little raw, emotionally, that is, hehe!). I love that kind of writing, short and right to the point. It also takes us back in time, chilling as the journey may be, it feels like “the good old days” only horrific! Enlisted it immensely.

    The Pisces hit a little too close to home for me, honestly. Didn’t care too much for it! Heh.

    Thanks for this post! When I see the lists come up in my book apps, now, I’ll think of you with a fond smile. 😋

    • The Pisces is VERY polarising, so I’m not surprised at all that some people haven’t clicked with it. I was shocked that I did, to be honest. It’s far removed from my usual taste, but something about it just worked for me luckily!

      But yay for Ghost Wall. It’s such a gem, and I’m glad you loved it too! 😊

      • I also find Akwaeke Emezi‘s nomination interesting for the women’s list. I’m curious how that conversation went for this list. I imagine there were questions, but a beautifully sensitive, collective agreement in the end! The literary world rocks!

        It’s a shame that they didn’t get the PEN/Hemingway, though. But, two prestigious noms? Awesome! That just drove their work to the next level, yeah? Keeping an eye out for what they do next! 🤓

        • Absolutely! I believe they reached out and Emezi gave their blessing to be included. I’m glad they handled it as such, and like you say, it’s an interesting (and great) statement for the Prize to make.

  5. I was SO excited for this post and it’s glorious. You got me now quite excited to read the rest of the list and although I have only read half of it, my feeling about which books make it to the shortlist are very similar to yours! I hoped My Year of Rest and Relaxation would make it, also Everything Under. I was quite surprised about you thinking Bitter Orange & Water Cure should have made it! I was not too big a fan of either, although they did have their merits (especially compared to Swan Song). Congrats on finishing this challenge!

    • Ah, thank you so much! I have a feeling I’ll like My Year of Rest and Relaxation too but I haven’t read it yet. I’m excited to hear your thoughts on the list as a whole once you’ve finished! 😊

  6. Swan Song is the only title on the longlist I’ve decided not to read if it gets shortlisted. It clearly isn’t for me. I’m yet to read Normal People, which I’m sure I’ll like, but can definitely back Ghost Wall, Freshwater and The Silence of the Girls for the shortlist. I’m afraid I wasn’t convinced by Battle-Felton’s writing.

    • I didn’t get on with Swan Song at all, so I’d back that decision! I hope you enjoy Normal People when you get to it; I expected to enjoy it, but was delighted by just how much.

  7. Great post! And congrats on finishing the entire longlist! I’ve got one and a half titles left but am hoping to finish in time to make a longlist review / shortlist prediction post this week as well. Ghost Wall would be such a fantastic winner! And I completely agree about not wanting to see Swan Song shortlisted. So glad you enjoyed this list!

    • Thank you so much! It was such a fun and interesting experience. I hope you manage to finish them all before the shortlist! And yay for Ghost Wall; I’m so happy to see others rooting for it as well.

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  9. Great choices for the shortlist, and congrats on committing to read the whole longlist! I loved Normal People, and am eager to pick up Sarah Moss in the future. Have heard mixed things about the weirdness of The Pisces, so I think I’ll give that a pass.

  10. I haven’t read An American Marriage yet, but just based on the synopsis it sets my head spinning. I feel like there can be no right answer to the problem of a newly married couple that is immediately split up by a wrongful conviction. Should she move on? Stick with him? Is there much of a relationship to salvage anyway? So many questions!

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