It’s that time of year again, The Orange Prize for fiction have announced 2012’s long list. For this bookaholic it’s the equivalent of Christmas. I love the Orange Prize and it’s celebration of female authors, each year the list never fails to throw out some brilliant must read books. On this list this year are a few books that are already firmly on my TBR and a few that I hadn’t until now heard of. But without further ado here is the list:
Island of Wings by Karin Altenberg (Quercus) Swedish, 1st Novel
On The Floor by Aifric Campbell (Serpent’s Tail) Irish, 3rd Novel
The Grief of Others by Leah Hager Cohen (The Clerkenwell Press) American, 4th Novel
The Sealed Letter by Emma Donoghue (Picador) Irish, 7th Novel
Half Blood Blue by Esi Edugyan (Serpent’s Tail) Canadian, 2nd Novel
The Forgotten Waltz by Anne Enright (Jonathan Cape) Irish. 5th Novel
The Flying Man by Roopa Farooki (Headline Review) British, 5th Novel
Lord of Misrule by Jaimy Gordon (Quercus) American, 4th Novel
Painter of Silence by Georgina Harding (Bloomsbury) British, 3rd Novel
Gillespie and I by Jane Harris (Faber & Faber) British, 2nd Novel
The Translation of the Bones by Francesca Kay (Weidenfeld & Nicolson) British, 2nd Novel
The Blue Book by A.L. Kennedy (Jonathan Cape) British, 6th Novel
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern (Harvill Secker) American, 1st Novel
The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller (Bloomsbury) American, 1st Novel
Foreign Bodies by Cynthia Ozick (Atlantic Books) American, 7th Novel
State of Wonder by Ann Patchett (Bloomsbury) American, 6th Novel
There But For The by Ali Smith (Hamish Hamilton) British, 5th Novel
The Pink Hotel by Anna Stothard (Alman Books) British, 2nd Novel
The Tides of War by Stella Tillyard (Chatto & Windus) British, 1st Novel
The Submission by Ann Waldman (William Heinemann) American, 1st Novel
I was a little surprised not to see The Land of Decoration by Grace McCleen on the list. I was however very excited to see State of Wonder by Ann Patchett, she’s one of my favourite writers and I’m thrilled that she’s made the cut. I can’t wait to read this novel.
Another book I’m excited about and not surprised to see is Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, it’s already had a lot of praise and publicity and from what I’ve read and heard about this book I can see if being very popular in 2012.
I’m annoyed at myself for not having bought a second-hand copy of There But For The Moment by Ali Smith last week when I saw a copy for a few pounds in a second-hand book shop. More fool me.
I also noted that Emma Donoghue made the list again this year, I wonder if she will get as far with The Sealed Letter? maybe she’ll get further? Last year she made the shortlist and there were some who desperately wanted her to win and some not so sure. I haven’t read the book yet but it’s on the list.
All in all I’m pretty excited about the long list, there’s a real mix of debut writers and more established novelist. Sadly though I think the list is a little lacking in international diversity. There’s a lot of American and British writers, a few Canadians one or two Irish and one Swedish. Hardly the International feast that were usually served. But I’m sure all of the books will be rewarding all the same.
So what does everyone else think of the list? Is there anything you really wanted to see on there but didn’t? Perhaps there’s something your really excited about and pleased to see make the cut? Have you read anything already on the list? Or do you have any plans?
I’ll be commenting on the whole process so do check in for updates and I look forward to hearing what everyone else thinks of the list.