Posted by: Lisa Hill | March 13, 2013

2013 Women’s Prize for Fiction Longlist

Thanks to Trevor at the Mookse and the Gripes for the news that the 2013 Women’s Prize for Fiction Longlist has been announced.  It’s nice to see that Australians Carrie Tiffany and M. L. Stedman have been nominated, along with Kiwi Emily Perkins.

I’ve only read three of these so maybe I shouldn’t comment, but having read the blurbs, I don’t find there’s much here to tempt me as a reader of literary fiction, beyond what I’ve already read or is on my TBR.  A lot of it looks lightweight, and I’m disappointed to see that there seems to be nothing from Africa or India.   So I’ll be looking for reviews from people I trust before I chase up any of these.

A Trick I Learned from a Dead Man, by Kitty Aldridge
Life After Life, by Kate Atkinson
The Marlowe Papers, by Ros Barber (A verse novel)
The People of Forever Are Not Afraid, by Shani Boianjiu (This one sounds really interesting).
Gone Girl, by Gillian Flynn (Too much hype about this one, IMO.)
How Should a Person Be? by Sheila Heti
May We Be Forgiven, by A.M. Homes, see Tony’s review at Tony’s Book World
Flight Behaviour, by Barbara Kingsolver
The Red Book, by Deborah Copaken Kogan
Bring Up the Bodies, by Hilary Mantel (update 23/6/13: see a Sensational Snippet, I didn’t write a review because everyone else has)
Lamb, by Bonnie Nadzam
The Forrests, by Emily Perkins (Update 5/4/14: I borrowed this from the library but abandoned it).
Ignorance, by Michèle Roberts
The Innocents, by Francesca Segal
Where’d You Go Bernadette? by Maria Semple
Honour, by Elif Shafak (update 23/6/13, see my review)
NW, by Zadie Smith (see my review)
The Light Between Oceans, by M.L. Stedman (see my review)
Mateship with Birds, by Carrie Tiffany (see my review)
Alif the Unseen, by G. Willow Wilson


  1. I’ve only read 4 of the books on the list, Lisa – Bring up the Bodies, Mateship with Birds, The Light Between Oceans and Flight Behaviour. Of those, Mantel’s book would win hands down for me. There are many books on the list that I haven’t heard of, which probably goes to show my own ignorance, but I think your comments about the blurbs are about right. I have heard some good things about Semple’s book, so I might give that one a try.


    • Hi Natasha, have you reviewed Flight Behaviour? I’ll link to it if you have…


      • Hi Lisa – no I haven’t reviewed it. I would have loved to send you the link if I had. I read it last year before I really started reviewing books on my blog. Thanks for asking!


  2. I have only read one from this list – The Forrests by Emily Perkins. My review is here –


    • Thanks for this Julie:) (I would have missed seeing the review because I was overseas last year when you wrote it).


  3. I’m a bit disappointed by the list’s lightweight feel too. I’d love to have seen an Asian author or two on the list and a few less American big-hitters. I’ve got no chance of reading all the books in time for the shortlist announcement (or even the winner’s probably) but I’m going to dip into another couple of titles I’ve not tried yet.I can recommend Life After Life though if you fancy time travel/reincarnation with a real twist. :)


    • Hi Alex, great to hear from you:)
      That’s a good point, and I’ve replied to it on your blog.


  4. I think Bring Up the Bodies will romp it in. It was my favourite read last year. I have only read four of the nominations. I enjoyed Gone Girl, and Mateship with Birds. I have just finished The Forrests and found it to be a bit disjointed but it drew me in. I have Flight Behaviour sitting on my shelf waiting to be read. I have again been inundated with books to read and the hot weather has enabled me to read quite a few. I just finished two good debut novels by Australians. One was The Burial by Courtney Collins, and Floundering by Romy Ash.



    • Hi Meg, nice to head from you.
      I’m yet to see an enthusiastic recommendation for The Forrests, I think it’s one that I might one day read if I see it at the library, but then again, maybe not.
      I’m still a bit depressed about Kingsolver after The Lacuna, which I abandoned unread, something I don’t often do.
      I haven’t read either of those debut novels: I wonder if I can tempt you into trying a guest review for me?


  5. Good guess Lisa. I know how you like to promote new Australian writers.
    I am also not a great fan of Kingsolver , and that is why her new one is on the shelf. I have to be in the mood for her writing style.



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