Hundreds of books enter, one book leaves. So it goes with every literary contest, and the Baileys — yes, that Baileys — Women's Prize for Fiction competition is no exception. A crack team of five judges devoted months of their precious time and energy to reading through 170 potential winners. The 20 titles listed below are the result of that effort. The judges will spend the next few weeks whittling this longlist down to six finalists, one of which will win the Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction on June 8.
Among the 20 writers represented on the Women's Prize for Fiction longlist, four are women of color. The Book of Memory author Petina Gappah is the first Zimbabwean author to receive a nod from the competition's judges. More than half of the competitors are debut novelists, and others — including Booker Prize finalist Hanya Yanagihara — have been up for other prestigious awards in the past.
Whether you follow literary competitions or not, any of the books longlisted for the Women's Prize for Fiction will make a great addition to your TBR, bookshelf, or #amreading list. Check them out below and let us know what your favorites are on Twitter. Book nerds in the U.K. can attend a reading by the six finalists at Cadogan Hall on June 7.
- A God in Ruins by Kate Atkinson
- Rush Oh! by Shirley Barrett
- Ruby by Cynthia Bond
- The Secret Chord by Geraldine Brooks
- The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers
- A Dictionary of Mutual Understanding by Jackie Copleton
- Whispers through a Megaphone by Rachel Elliott
- The Green Road by Anne Enright
- The Book of Memory by Petina Gappah
- Gorsky by Vesna Goldsworthy
- The Anatomist's Dream by Clio Gray
- At Hawthorn Time by Melissa Harrison
- Pleasantville by Attica Locke
- The Glorious Heresies by Lisa McInerney
- The Portable Veblen by Elizabeth McKenzie
- Girl at War by Sara Nović
- The House at the Edge of the World by Julia Rochester
- The Improbability of Love by Hannah Rothschild
- My Name Is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout
- A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara
The Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction winner will be announced on June 8.