Today saw the announcement of the shortlist for the Bailey’s Womens Prize for Fiction 2014.
The list is as follows.
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie – Americanah
Hannah Kent – Burial Rites
Jhumpa Lahiri – The Lowland
Audrey Magee – The Undertaking
Eimear McBride – A Girl Is A Half-Formed Thing
Donna Tartt – The Goldfinch
I started to read the longlist (20 books long) but it appears I was not so successful in guessing which would be on the shortlist. I read the short books first though, and of those, only 1 made the transition from long-list to short list.
A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing by Eimear McBride was the book I had read (though I am part way through reading both The Goldfinch and Burial Rites) I must say, I am surprised that McBride’s novel made the shortlist. It is a very controversial book in that its writing style can be incredibly jarring. It is stream of consciousness and often ignores grammar rules, makes no sense and the main character is not really that likeable. it wasn’t a book I particularly enjoyed reading. I got through it only because it was on my list. To see this up here instead of The Bear or The Shadow of the Crescent Moon is disappointing.
But, such is the giving of a prize. Books don’t always please everyone and it changes each year depending on the judges.
I still plan on reading the other books on the longlist – some seem too interesting to ignore – but I shall try and focus on the shortlisted books for now. Then in June, one of these books will be crowned the winner. Wonder if I will agree?