Baileys Women’s Prize Short List 2015

From a long list of 20 novels and from a collection of 160 original entries, the five judges have narrowed the field down to 6 novels vying for the Baileys Women’s Prize for fiction 2015.

Five of the authors have been shortlisted previously and one, my favourite (though I have only read two on the list) is a debut author, Laline Paull.

The shortlisted novels are:

It’s another excellent list from this worthy prize that celebrates hard-working, talented and inspirational women writers with a particular talent for creating life-like characters inhabiting believable worlds, whether it’s the smaller canvas of detailed family life in Anne Tyler’s fiction, or the imaginative hive of Flora 717, brilliantly conceived in Laline Paull’s The Bees.

Syl Saller, Chief Marketing Officer, Diageo had this to say about the shortlist:

“From a debut to a twentieth novel, this year’s shortlist celebrates exceptional female writers who display a rich and diverse talent for telling stories. Having always championed women, Baileys is thrilled to be working with the Prize to get these six novels by inspirational women into the hands of more book-lovers around the world.”

And the shadow jury (a group of blogging reviewers who are reading all the books and creating their own short list and winner) organised by Naomi at WritesofWomen, came up with their alternative shortlist below, having read and debated the 20 nominated novels.

Shadow Jury Alternative Shortlist

Shadow Jury Alternative Shortlist

One of the jury members, our much admired reviewer Eric of LonesomeReader had this to say about the prize:

“Whichever book ultimately wins, I am so glad this prize has introduced me to a range of unique books I probably wouldn’t have read otherwise. From Laline Paull’s outrageously original The Bees to Jemma Wayne’s ambitious take on the aftershock of war in After Before to Rachel Cusk’s fascinating chorus of voices in Outline to Grace McCleen’s elegant portrayal of madness in The Offering to Marie Phillips’ hilarious Arthurian tale The Table of Less Valued Knights to Sandra Newman’s challenging mighty tome The Country of Ice Cream Star. In my opinion, book prizes help us notice great literature we might have missed and the Baileys Prize has offered up a lot of excellence this year.”

I recommend visiting either of these blogs mentioned if you wish to read reviews of the books.

So, any predictions for a winner? We will have to wait until 3 June 2015 to find out!

13 thoughts on “Baileys Women’s Prize Short List 2015

  1. I knew you would be happy to see The Bees on the shortlist. I have yet to read it, but Amazon just offered it for $1.99, so now it’s sitting on my Kindle and will hopefully get read before June 3. The only book I had read from the longlist didn’t make it onto the shortlist, so I can’t make any predictions as to which book might win.


    • Yes, you’re right, I am really happy to see The Bees there, it really did something for me, an incredible reading experience, especially if you don’t have too much knowledge about bees habits.

      So what was the book you read from the long list and did you love it?


  2. I am SO happy to see The Bee’s is on the shortlist. I absolutely adored that book, as you know. And if it hadn’t been for your review I not only would never have read it, I doubt I would even have found it. So, again, thanks! I am now looking forward to reading a Spool of Blue Thread — which I will do as soon as I’ve finished The Folded Clock. The others on the list have not been on my radar, I must admit, but hopefully I will get around to reading at least 1 or 2.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Likewise, very pleased to see Laline Paull up there with the esteemed, incredibly talented IMHO and can’t wait to read what she’s working on currently in her garden shed!

      I’d like to read one of Kamila Shamsie’s book, this one or Burnt Shadows, another author I haven’t read but became aware of recently. I don’t know The Folded Clock, but it sounds like entertaining non-fiction. Just checked it out on Goodreads.


      • Jnot that far into it yet, I’ll let you know. Read about it in the New York Times and it sounded interesting — at least the ‘idea’ did :). So many good books to read, aren’t there? Very exciting.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Nice shortlist, Claire! Nice to see Laline Paul, Ali Smith, Anne Tyler and Sarah Waters there 🙂 I hope your favourite Laline wins 🙂 I also wish Ali Smith and Sarah Waters won some sort of award soon – they have been around for a while and have written some amazing books.


    • Thanks Vishy, so do I! Can’t help but support the underdog and even if it was a 5 star read for me, I know it’s intimidating for a debut author to be among such exceptional talent, but here’s the proof that she too is an exceptionally talented writer. I hope you get to read it Vishy.


  4. Very good shortlist. I’d planned to read 5 of these. I own four of them so will try to get through them before the big day. It looks like it’s going to be a tight race. Ali Smith, Sarah Waters, and Anne Tyler are tough customers. Who knows maybe a new writer will win this time?


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