On International Women’s Day, the Bailey’s Women’s Prize for Fiction announced their longlist for the 2017 prize. The Bailey’s Prize is one of the most prestigious book prizes awarded in the U.K., and each year they highlight stunning books by contemporary female authors that cover a broad range of themes. The list includes some big names, like Margaret Atwood’s newest book Hag-Seed, but I was interested to see the array of both genre and literary fiction by lesser known authors, like Emma Flint whose first crime novel Little Deaths made the list this year.
Below, I’ve included the books from the longlist that I’ve added to my reading list. I’ll definitely be keeping my ears open for the announcement of the winner in June!
The Power by Naomi Alderman
In this dystopian novel, a handful of women realize they can shoot electric jolts through their finger tips. This gives them an incredibly physical advantage over other people in their life, including men — which turns the world upside-down.
The Lonely Hearts Hotel by Heather O’Neill
A magical novel about two orphans abandoned in Montreal in 1910, this story follows the twisting destinies of pianist Pierrot and dancer Rose through their childhood, the Great Depression, and onto the seedy streets of New York where they dream of creating a circus so extraordinary it could help them forget their pasts in the dark, unforgiving world.
Stay With Me by Ayobami Adebayo
Set in Nigeria in the 1980s, this novel by Adebayo follows the story of Yejide, whose husband threatens to take a second wife when she can’t produce a child. With a turbulent social and political backdrop, this story discusses the complicated nature of marriage, grief, and motherhood with a beautiful, lyrical finish.