Orange Prize Longlist

Today the Orange Prize longlist was announced, along with some criticism from the chair about the abundance of miserable novels offered up for consideration this year.  The shortlist will be announced April 20. 

Here is the list — I have read not a one, but some look very good:

  • Clare Clark: Savage Lands
  • Amanda Craig: Hearts and Minds
  • Roopa Farooki: The Way Things Look to Me
  • Rebecca Gowers: The Twisted Heart
  • M.J. Hyland: This Is How
  • Sadie Jones: Small Wars
  • Barbara Kingsolver: The Lacuna
  • Laila Lalami: Secret Son
  • Andrea Levy: The Long Song
  • Attica Locke: Black Water Rising
  • Hilary Mantel: Wolf Hall
  • Maria McCann: The Wilding
  • Nadifa Mohamed: Black Mamba Boy
  • Lorrie Moore: A Gate at the Stairs
  • Monique Roffey: The White Woman on the Green Bicycle
  • Amy Sackville: The Still Point
  • Kathryn Stockett: The Help
  • Sarah Waters: The Little Stranger

9 thoughts on “Orange Prize Longlist”

  1. Kerry says:

    The Help??? The Orange Prize just became less prestigious in my eyes.

  2. Trevor says:

    I wondered about that too, Kerry. Though all I know of The Help is what I see of its marketing. Anyone read it?

  3. Amy says:

    There’s been a lot of griping about the lack of accuracy and research in The Help. If you check out this year’s Tournament of Books, you’ll find some of the discussion there.

  4. Let us pause for a moment and cheer the absence of Dame Peggy Atwood’s The Year of the Flood from the long list of 20. Tends to restore my faith in juries. And, of course, Trevor’s perceptiveness.

    I haven’t read The Help and don’t intend to — Kerry’s review is persuasive enough. I’ll put forward the hypothesis that it is this year’s version of The Spare Room by Helen Garner from the year previous. Those who loved it, really, really loved it — I tried to read the Garner (it is really just a novella) and the soppy sentimentality had me putting it down halfway through. If I did try The Help I am pretty sure I would have exactly the same response.

  5. Trevor says:

    Let us pause for a moment and cheer the absence of Dame Peggy Atwood’s The Year of the Flood from the long list of 20.

    Great point, Kevin! I notice also that it lost in the first round of the tournament of books today too — to a lesser seeded book even.

  6. Lisa Hill says:

    *chuckle* At least I made it to the end of the Garner, Kevin! (http://anzlitlovers.wordpress.com/2009/04/25/the-spare-room-by-helen-garner-read-by-heather-bolton/)
    Seriously, I too am sooo tired of the Tragic Issue at the core of the story; I think it links to The Misery Memoir pioneered by Angela’s Ashes and pop-psychology navel-gazing in general.
    I haven’t read any of ‘em except Wolf Hall which would be a worthy winner IMO, but look forward to reading some reviews of this list with interest.
    Lisa

  7. Lisa: I checked your review of The Spare Room and would have to say we would be in complete agreement, if I had finished the book.

  8. Lisa Hill says:

    *chuckle* Great minds think alike!

  9. Colette Jones says:

    Interesting, Kevin and Lisa. I did not find The Spare Room soppy at all, and I didn’t find Helen (author or character) to be judgemental. I had never heard of Helen Garner prior to reading the book though, so maybe that was an advantage. It seemed to me a book about a really good friend being able to think the unthinkable and say the unsayable. I did not see a moral high ground or anything like that.

Leave a Reply