Women’s Prize in Fiction Longlist 2022

March 10, 2022 · 19:57


The 2022 Women’s Fiction Prize was announced on Tuesday. The 16 names are:

Lisa Allen-Agostini The Bread the Devil Knead
Salt Lick by Lulu Allison
Careless Kirsty Capes
Distant Sympathy by Catherine Chiddy
Paper Castle by Miranda Cowley Heller
Flamingo by Rachel Elliott
A sentence by Louise Erdrich
Build Your House Around My Body by Violet Coopersmith
Grief and Bliss by Meg Mason
Author of the Charlotte Mendelssohn exhibition
Ruth Ozeki’s Book of Form and Emptiness
Leone Rosa This One Sky Day
Island of Lost Trees by Elif Shafak.
The Great Circle by Maggie Shipsted
The Final Revival of Opal & Nev by Dawnie Walton
Morowa Yejidé Creatures of Passage

I’m pleased to see Maggie Shipstead’s The Great Circle and Meg Mason’s Sorrow and Bliss on the list, as these were some of my favorite books of 2021. Some have expressed surprise at titles such as Sally’s Beautiful World, Where Art Thou. Rooney, Sarah Moss’s The Fell, and Hanya Yanagihara’s To Paradise were unsuccessful. However, while these are very good novels, I don’t think they’re the best work by these authors to date, so it’s good to have more room for others this year.

I’ve read Miranda Cowley Heller’s Paper Castle but haven’t reviewed it – it’s a very strong debut, and I’m not surprised to learn that Heller was the host of the HBO drama series for a decade, as the novel has the feel of a prestige TV drama, emotionally describing an affair over the summer in Cape Cod. I also have The Book of Form and Void by Ruth Ozeki, which I’m looking forward to coming soon as I’ve enjoyed all her previous novels.

While last year’s long list was dominated by well-known authors, this year’s list includes several that are new to me. One of the five debut novels on the list that I’m particularly interested in is Kirsty Capes’ Inattention, a coming-of-age story based on the author’s personal experience of the care system. I’ve also seen a lot of positive reviews of Charlotte Mendelssohn’s ‘Exhibition’, which tells the story of the artist’s family preparing for his latest exhibition.

Which books on the list have you read and want to read?

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